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The ‘Olympics’ of Street Painting begins!

Artists from around the world have descended on Grazie di Curtatone for the 40th anniversary of Incontro Nazionale dei Madonnari.  The festival opened with a street parade reflecting the medieval history of the region followed by an airshow and skydivers parachuting into the piazza delivering chalk to the Bishop to bless and distribute to the artists. The Mayor and other dignatories were also present and journalists and photographers from around the world are here to capture every moment. The atmosphere in the piazza heated up as the competition began.  Literally thousan

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Anticipation builds, artists prepare and organisers from around the world meet

The temperatures and humidity are set to soar tomorrow, artists from all over the world are arriving and registering for tomorrow's competition.  The pavements have been swept, cracks from the recent earthquakes are being filled and many espressos are being consumed as artists nervously examine their allotted spaces and make their preparations. I suspect Jenny will be up late tonight finalising her designs.  The more preparation, the easier it will be on site for her.  While she has 24 hours to complete her design, the heat and potential rain could dramatically cut down

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Benvenuti Australiani

We are in Grazie!  The Australian delegation are the first to arrive in Grazie di Curtatone and have been warmly welcomed by the organisers of the festival and the residents of this tiny town.  We are all extremely excited to be here.   Jenny has been quick to get out and assess the surface she'll be working on.  The ground is stained with the remains of artworks from last year.  In some areas the ground is badly cracked, in others splotches of tar mark the space.  Fingers crossed she'll have a good space to work on.   While Jenny prepares, we're filming and lining up

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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!

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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

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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 Mon

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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?  Sou

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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!