Last week we were in Ruvo Di Puglia, near Bari, on the other coast of Italy from Rome and Naples. We were there for the first annual Internationale Concorso di Madonnari.
The theme was ” Mary in the modern age” and I decided on an old cover of The Saturday Evening Post to add a flair of Americana to an Italian festival. While not modern, it does update the idea of Mary to another iconic, stylistic era.
The festival was quick. We arrived in the afternoon, had lunch, chalked till about 8pm, woke up early, finished by 5pm amd were on the 7pm bus to Naples. Quick but fun.
Im doing these posts a bit out of order, I havent posted Part 2, which was our visit to Rome.
We were invited to participate in Concorso Internazionale dei Madonnari, a church festival in Nocera Superiore, south of Naples. It was a real honor to be invited along with a handful of other artists from the US, as well as artists from Mexico, Netherlands and elsewhere.
This wasnt a street art or chalk painting festival, but a church festival in which the chalk art was one part of a larger festival that included concerts, a light show, fireworks, parades and more. The theme this year was a Bible verse, based on John 15: 13-16 and was interpreted as “A great love, share it with the others”
Our piece was a recreation of “The Visitation” and measured 6’x 6′. For this festival we began work about 4pm and worked until midnight and then began the next day at 6am.
Nocera Superiore is a beautiful town with a great view of Mount Vesuvius. On top of every mountain were the remnants of old churches.
We stayed in town for two days after we chalked and had an opportunity to enjoy the festival and the people.
Last month my daughter and I did another street painting festival, this one being Lake Worth Street Painting Festival.
The image we chose to do was a grotesque panel from Italian artist Carolina d’Ayala Valva. It’s a beautiful piece of art and we wanted to do something “old school”.
I really enjoy these festivals. Although its alot of work for something temporary, its an opportunity to challenge myself and also play with different types of art. And chalk festivals are an interesting mix of art, from classical to original compositions to street art. There are very few venues in the art world that allow for such a diverse showing of art.
There is also the aspect of getting an opportunity to spend the weekend with artists of different styles, that travel from all over to participate. Many artists refer to each other as their “chalk family’, and that feeling is evident at most festivals. Its a nice change from the competitive world that art can be