Viewing This Year’s I Madonnari Chalk Painting Festival

By Robert Bernstein

The I Madonnari Chalk Painting Festival was back live in person after three years! As usual, I took way too many photos to share them all in this article. I followed the progress each day and also returned on the “fourth day” after Memorial Day when it is a bit less crowded and the art works are all completed.

Here are all of my photos, arranged by day in each of four galleries. Along with my favorite picks on the home page and photos from the children’s area. The event also included plenty of live music and other entertainment. These young performers took the stage after their act.

Here are a few videos of the Piano Boys and the San Marcos High School Jazz Band. And no Italian event would be complete without plenty of delicious food! These young women were serving up gelato imported directly from Italy!

And these Ukrainian women poured their hearts into making delicious pastries that were offered up in exchange for donations. All donations are being sent to the Hromada organization that gets the assistance directly to those in need in Ukraine.

On to the art!

Here Father Larry Gosselin hugged my friend Sharyn Chan who was one of the featured artists for yet another year!

Haight Ashbury artist Chuck Sperry was the inspiration for artist Lisa to create this magnificent psychedelic piece.

Which looked like this when she finished it.

Speaking of psychedelic art, here is a piece by Psychedelic Honey.

My former co-worker at the former Goleta Valley Voice Rod Tryon was back again with his patient skill creating another anamorphic wonder that seems to sink into and rise out of the pavement!

Here is the finished result.

Here was another beautiful anamorphic creation meant to be viewed from the perfect sweet spot where all sight lines converge.

Amber Roe and Claire Wentzel teamed up to create two joined squares full of deeper meaning. Each explained the concept. Amber created the lone figure who is a female and a rock face to represent the creative power of the individual. And Claire Wentzel created the complementary section representing the power of community. The two sections are joined by the flow of water. Each has a web site with more information.

Tracy Lee Stum was back for another year of creation. She travels the world creating chalk painting installations.

I Madonnari creator Kathy Koury was honored with this chalk art.

This page gives the history of what it is all about. The entire event is a fund raiser for the Children’s Creative Project, a nonprofit arts education program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office. The Project serves 50,000 children in more than 100 schools with visual and performing arts workshops and performances throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

It is impossible to capture many of these pieces in their entirety without using some special techniques. Here I put together the featured piece of the show in a way that cannot be seen without floating in mid-air!I am not sure exactly what the artist had in mind here, but this seems to represent the “Cartesian Theater” of Descartes or the windowless room of Liebniz that we all live inside of in our heads.

Architect Tom Meany was back depicting his family, now into the third generation, with his grandchildren!

Delphine I originally knew as one of my favorite swing dance partners. She was an art teacher at Laguna Blanca and now teaches in Los Angeles. She created her magnificent grand piece with a smile, but indicated she may cut back on such large pieces here in the future.

Biologist Jessie Altstatt kindly posed with her finished grand biological design on Tuesday.

Regular chalk painting artist Cecilia Linayao featured actress Michelle Yeoh this year. If you have not yet seen her latest movie “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once” yet, go see it! Finally a movie that is innovative, creative and not just a re-make, a sequel or a comic book film!

There is no way for me to feature every amazing art piece here in this article. Please go to my galleries here to see it all!


Written by sbrobert

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