Linnie Aikens Arts and Letters • HeART Haven Studios

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iMadonnari Chalk Painting done by my art students at Adams School, Santa Barbara, CA 

I spent 16 hours during Memorial Day Weekend participating in the annual iMadonnari Italian Street Painting Festival.  I worked with about 14 students on this 4’ x 6’ chalk painting depicting Santa Barbara during the Mission Era, as interpreted by students ages 5-9.  The students took the idea from a mural they’d just finished painting at Adams School with nationally known Montana muralist, John Carlon.  They did this one from memory in much brighter colors and with some new twists.  It was great to see the praise the students received from the thousands of visitors to the mission grounds that weekend.  Adults were just amazed that young children could do this kind of quality work, so they stood and watched the kids for awhile and then walked away even more amazed.  Many adults told the kids that this painting was their very favorite in the whole festival.  It made my heart smile to see the pride and beaming joy on the kids’ faces hearing that over and over.  The really gained some confidence in their talents this weekend.  I love this event!  It’s such a community activity, bringing young and old artists together.  Hundreds of artists were bonded in chalked faces, arms, legs, hands and creative joy!


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