Skip to Content

I Madonnari brings a colorful display of chalk art to the Santa Barbara Old Mission for the weekend

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The colorful 38th I Madonnari Italian street painting festival is appearing in the form of numerous handcrafted chalk art works on the asphalt at the Santa Barbara Mission.

It takes place Saturday through Monday on the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. It is a benefit for the Children's Creative project bringing arts education to county schools. Annually about 80,000 students are reached through the effort of this project.

This festival has its roots in line with a sister festival in Grazie di Curtatone, Italy.

"Our claim to fame is that we are the first street painting festival in North America .  We have international artists who come out," said Executive Director Kai Tepper.

Some of the artists are already on their knees working on their drawings. The black asphalt will be a canvas for professional and first time artists. "It's just amazing it's my favorite festival.    I travel all over the world doing this and this is my favorite," said Rod Tryon a chalk artist.

There will also be a special area for children.

"We have got 30-40 legacy artist who have been doing the festival for many years we have a bunch of new applicant artists.  We got to review their work and thought that they would be a good fit and we have outstanding student artists that participate, " said Tepper.

The festival will have live music, food booths and souveniers in the form of poster and t-shirts. 

The event is an economic booster for Santa Barbara. Thousands of people will be at the festival each day and also from there they typically spend time in the regional area. Some go to the festival site each day to see the changing piece of art.

"The people are great they plan it  out and the perspective that they get and the depth in the drawing is magnificent - something to see," said Carol Colao a Santa Barbara resident checking out the early art.

"The arts in Santa Barbara is a huge economic driver too and I think some times we forget about that.   What makes this town beautiful is so much and support for arts and cultures," said Tepper.

For more information go to: Children's Creative Project - I Madonnari

Article Topic Follows: Events
i madonarri
Santa Barbara

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content