Mission San Luis Obispo Fiestas

The missions have always been the center of activities for the area where the missions were established. This continues to today and many missions have various fiestas and festivals. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is no exception…

I Madonnari (renamed to Via dei Colori SLO)

This festival is an Italian chalk art festival. It usually occurs toward the end of April (more recently toward the end of September) in the mission square and surrounding streets. Picture areas are purchased and sponsored by local businesses, people and organizations with the money going to local causes. Here are some pictures from the 1998 festival. Some of the art is quite good.

Chalk art portrait
Picture taken 3:30pm 25 Apr 1998

 


Picture taken 3:30pm 25 Apr 1998


Picture taken 3:30pm 25 Apr 1998

The festival was 10-years old in San Luis Obispo in 2001 but such festivals date back 400 years with deeper roots. Transient art (e.g., sand paintings) is often linked to spiritual rituals.Chalk images, usually of the Virgin Mary, were drawn by artists outside churches in post-Renaissance Italy. The artists became known as “Madonnari.” Actual street painting festivals started in 1972 in Grazie di Curtatone in Northern Italy where casual painting has been going on for 400 years.

The chalk images at the festival are kept over the weekend and then washed away the following Tuesday.

For more information see their website.


Picture taken 3:30pm 25 Apr 1998


Picture taken 3:30pm 25 Apr 1998