Jenn Hall

Bright, colorful displays of artwork adorned downtown San Luis Obispo’s Mission Plaza and its surrounding streets last weekend, transforming the ordinarily bland concrete canvas of its sidewalk into a montage of artistic masterpieces.

More than 200 local artists and thousands of art revelers congregated in the plaza and Broad and Monterey streets for I Madonnari, an Italian street-painting festival with a 16-year tradition in San Luis Obispo. Artwork included a plethora of subjects, covering everything from a rainbow-hued interpretation of a famous Che Guevara photo to a rendition of Davy Jones from the final two installments of “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Started in 1992 by Kathleen Koury, the event is reminiscent of Italian street-painting festivals, which date back to the 1500s but still continue in that country today.

Proceeds from each artist’s slot, purchased by sponsors for $75 to $500, as well as money collected from other activities, will benefit the Children’s Creative Project.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *