MADONNARI ARTS FESTIVAL 2021
Italian Street Painting Little Italy, Baltimore September 10-12, 2021 (TENTATIVE)
EVENT SUMMARY. This 3-day cultural event will showcase elaborate chalk paintings created by artists directly on the streets of Little Italy. The event will be enhanced with al fresco dining at Little Italy’s fabulous restaurants, continuous live music, street performances, an art market and a children’s chalk center in a celebration of the contemporary renaissance of Baltimore’s historic Italian neighborhood. Our model for this event originated in Italy in a tradition that dates back to the 16th century — the art of street painting. Historically, i madonnari were wandering artists in Italy who traveled village to village to earn their livelihood at various festivals and on holy days. The artists often depicted religious images in their paintings, thus earning their name. Such a festival was first introduced in America in Santa Barbara, California in the 1980s. Today, street painters create breathtaking traditional and expressionistic compositions using the street as their canvas and chalk pastels as their medium.
AWARDS. Prizes will be awarded this year in two categories, Classical and Contemporary. In each category, a $1,000 CASH PRIZE WILL BE AWARDED TO THE BEST WORK! In the Classical category, Second and Third places will win $500 and $350, respectively. A People’s Choice cash prize of $250 will also be awarded. Festival attendees’ submissions will determine the people’s choice winner. Additionally, this year we will award a $250 cash prize to the winning high school submission to be shared by the student and the school’s art department.
CALL FOR ENTRY. We invite artists to create a 10’ square chalk painting on Little Italy’s South High Street for the three event days (September 10-12). The street will come alive as it is transformed into fine works of art. This year’s theme of the art is The Power of Women.
Festival hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am -7pm with events continuing inside the restaurants throughout the evening. Artists are expected to be present at the Festival Friday through Sunday. The artists will receive complimentary lunch/dinner provided by the Little Italy restaurants and served in a communal dining room. Artists may also exhibit their art for sale in the area surrounding their street painting.
If there is rain on Friday or Saturday night, artists must return the following day to repair their works or redraw. If rain continues on Sunday, a determination will be made at that time about continuation of the project. (Artists should cover their work with plastic sheeting held in place by duct tape to help keep off any rainwater.) In the event of unrelenting rain during the weekend, the art and music will continue inside the participating Little Italy restaurants. It is important for the Organizers to have a phone number where you can be reached in case of changes to the itinerary.