Tobias Freccia of Portola Valley works on his chalk work entitled “Etch & Sketch” on Sunday during the I Madonnari Festival held at the Santa Barbara Mission. Madonnari, or street painters, transform the Mission plaza using pastels on pavement to create 150 vibrant and colorful, large-scale images. The festival benefits the Children’s Creative Project, a nonprofit arts education program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office. (Mike Eliason / Noozhawk photo)
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A variety of artwork continued to take shape in front of the Santa Barbara Mission on Sunday, as a legion of artists chalked away during the annual I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival.
Street painters were using pastels to transform the ordinary asphalt into extraordinary visual offerings that range from replicas of masterpieces to whimsical flights of fancy.
This is the 28th year of the festival, which is a fundraiser for the Children’s Creative Project, a nonprofit art program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office.
The artist squares are sold to sponsors to raise money for the project, which 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.
By Sunday afternoon, most of the artists’ squares were nearing completion, so Monday will be a great day for the public to visit the Mission and enjoy the art.
Adjacent to the art area is an Italian market, with food, beverages, music and other offerings.
I Madonnari is free, and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Santa Barbara Mission is at 2201 Laguna St.
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