Bravo Madonnari in Maderno!

Yesterday’s festival in Maderno was nothing short of fabulous.  The Madonnari worked throughout the day to produce masterpieces on board and directly on the street.  Children and their parents joined in art classes and chalking the streets.  

As the evening cooled the piazza filled with people coming to see the exhibition, dine in local restaurants and vote for their favourite Madonnaro.  The winner was Mara Maga with her image of Madonna and Child.  We’ll be catching up with a few of these Madonnari in Grazie di Curtatone.  

Grazie Toscalano Maderno!

Madonnari per Sant’Ercolano – Maderno, Italy

Bongiorno!  This morning we’re in Maderno for the 2nd annual street painting festival for the feast day of Saint Ercolano.  Ten Madonnari have been commissioned by Commune Toscalano Maderno (the local Council) to take part in this festival.

The surface here is definitely not ideal, cobblestones and brick pavers.  The less experience artists will work on work on wooden boards, the traditional street painters will work directly on to the ground.

Rather than designing or choosing his own work, Bernardo has been given an image to replicate.  He and the other artists will have until 7pm tonight to complete their works, after which their will be a feast and then a presentation of awards.

The Madonnari are all feverishly preparing, the air is still reasonably cool but warming by the hour.  By lunch time the sun will be scorching.

In search of quality pavement…

We travelled around Lake Garda from Salo to Sirmione in search of quality pavement. It was really too hot to work so we took our time to see what was available. We found cobblestones, wooden planks and came close to finding decent asphalt but after closer examination Bernardo declared it contained far too many stones and not enough bitumen, a bit like the surface at Grazie. On seeing that I’m sure that Jenny’s had good training on Pyrmont Bridge, her experience there will definitely be of benefit.

After a long hot day on the road we headed to Ca’ Bruzzo Winery in Monti Berici in the east of Verona, to stay with Allan and his family and enjoy his wine, music and stories. Allan is a good friend to street painters, the walls of his ‘cantina’ (tasting room) are adorned with artworks by many artists who have travelled through here and his wine has been enjoyed by many (including us!).  

All the wine is organic, there are 5 types of vines here, the soil is red and the wine is rich and full bodied, just the way we like it.  The winery is open to the public, and definitely worth a visit.  It’s going to be hard to leave but today we must prepare for a street painting festival Bernardo is participating in tomorrow.

Arrividerci Australia!

Sitting at the airport, waiting to board my flight.  Italy here I come!  Bernardo von Hessberg, the man who challenged me to start a pavement art festival in Australia will be waiting in Milan.  After nearly 30 hours of travel from Sydney through Dubai to Milan, I’m glad he’ll be there to pick up the pieces. 

I called Bernardo to let him know I’m on my way and he warned me that that it’s boiling hot – they’ve had the 3 hottest days this Summer and there’s no sign of the weather cooling down.  It will be a welcome change from the Australian winter but how hot is hot?  Sounds good now but I can’t help thinking about Kurt Wenner telling us the ground gets so hot at Grazie the bitumen starts to melt during the competition.  I’m going to check out the lay of the land before Jenny arrives on Saturday and give her an update before she heads over.  

So farewell Australia, next stop Dubai!

We’re counting down the days…

Andi Mether, Chalk Urban Art Festival’s founder and festival director will be departing Australia for Italy on 6 August.  Each day Andi will post information and images about our journey so you can stay up to date with the ‘Olympics’ of Street Painting in Grazie di Curtatone.  Stay tuned for more information!