Chalk It Up! The unique street art festival which supports arts in our local public schools
The Street Painting Festival runs from May 27-29 at the Old Mission in Santa Barbara.
Artist Lorelle Avonne Kozoll Miller is using pastels to create a street painting outside the Mission in Santa Barbara. This year she’s the featured artist for the Street Painting Festival, and she has been creating art as part of the festival for nearly 20 years.
"What is neat about the street painting is it's immersive, because it's large so you feel you're almost in the piece," she said.
She’s been working on the piece of art - called the Barrel Maker - since Tuesday, creating a piece of art that is not only spectacular to look at, but for Miller – is hugely personal.
"It's a tribute to my grandfather, that I never met. He was an immigrant from Eastern Europe in the middle to late 1800's. When he came to America, he thought it was the Garden of Eden," said Miller.
She used the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens as the model for the Garden of Eden and depicts her grandfather coming through a wall into the garden.
"It's an acknowledgement of him because none of my family would be here if it wasn't for him," she said.
The Street Painting Festival, known as I Madonnari, is not only a feast for the eyes, but raises funds to run arts programs in local public schools.
"The pavement in front of the Mission turns into this incredible collage of different artworks and pieces. It's routed in this Italian tradition of a street painting," said Kai Tepper, the Executive Director of the Children’s Creative Project, who put on the street painting festival.
She admits constantly checking the weather forecast for rain, which would wash away the exquisite art works.
But Miller says the temporary nature of the art form which is part of the joy.
"It's ephemeral, it doesn't last," said Miller. "It's like sandcastle building or an ice sculpture. It's temporary."
"It's the process, I suppose, and the interaction is really neat with the public. It's a public art form," said Miller.
"You tell stories and they tell you stories, there's a great exchange in that," she added.
The Street Painting Festival runs from May 27-29 at the Old Mission in Santa Barbara – and the art will likely stay a few more weeks…as long as we don’t get a big rainstorm!