California Travel Tips

Easy Street at California Chalk Art Events

Published on: April 03, 2018


You don’t need a barrel of money to organize a street or sidewalk chalk art festival. In fact, all you need is some paved space and plenty of chalk. Several events provide chalk art squares and chalk for free while others up it with a fee and featured artists well known for their artistry.

If you’ve never attended such an event, it’s fun to see, but the artwork doesn’t happen instantly. You get to watch the pavement transform from a “mean street” to something unexpected, entertaining, and like sandcastle art, you wish it could stick around. But it won’t.

Chalk Art Roots

  • Comes from Italy circa 1500s
  • Chalk artists were called madonnari
  • They made drawings of the Madonna for coin tips
  • The vagabond chalk artists traveled a circuit
  • Santa Barbara, Calif. was first Western Hemisphere destination to introduce “Madonnari”
  • Held at Mission Santa Barbara, the annual festival was inspired by sister city, Grazie di Curtatone, Italy

California Chalk Art Fests, Events

  • Covina Chalk Art Festival at Heritage Plaza April 14, 2018
  • Downtown Burbank Arts Festival street art at Burbank Town Center and Magnolia Blvd. April 14-15
  • Mission Viejo  Arts Alive Street Painting Festival April 28-29
  • Santa Barbara’s I Madonnari May 26-28
  • Tehachapi Chalk on the Walk August 11
  • Palo Alto Italian Street Painting Expo August 25-26



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