Australia’s Jenny McCracken has won first place in her division in the ‘Olympics’ of Street Painting in Grazie di Curtatone, Italy and will return to home as Australia’s first Madonnara of Grazie. Jenny impressed the judges with her original design, technique and skill of anamorphic perspective.
There are 3 levels to the competition in Grazie. While Jenny has one the title of Champion Pavement Artist twice in Australia, she came in to the competition in Grazie as a novice in the ‘Madonnari Semplici’ division. She now enters the next level ‘Qualificato’, the next step will be to win that division to become a ‘Maestro’, This is a fierce competition at all levels, but as Jenny has said, it is more a competition against the fierce heat, the rough surface and lack of sleep than against the other artists. The 24 hour competition definitely requires stamina, a strong mind and fit body to work all night..
This year is the 40th anniversary of the world’s original street painting festival, Incontro Nazionale dei Madonnari. When the festival began a handful of artists took part in the festival. The hope was to keep this traditional art form alive. 40 years later 146 artists from Italy, Germany, France, Japan, Mexico, Peru, USA, Korea, North Africa and Australia have made the pilgrimage to Grazie to pay homage to the traditions of the art form.
The winner of the Qualificato Division and the new Maestro winner is Juandres Vera from Mexico for his original artwork ‘La Pieta’.