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Via dei Colori calls for artists for annual street painting festival in SLO Mission Plaza



Chalk of the town

The street painting festival, I Madonnari, has been a staple of downtown SLO for the past 13 years. For two days each year, both local and visiting artists are given a sectioned-off square in the Mission Plaza, where they paint images of their choosing with chalk and pastels. It’s an impressive event, where you can see original pieces, renderings of classics from master artists, or maybe even a glistening, shirtless portrait of Jeff Goldblum in that one scene from Jurassic Park where he’s all, you know, glistening and shirtless (note: no one’s done this yet, so, fingers crossed, this is the year). Now, however, the long-standing I Madonnari will be known as Via dei Colori (Streets of Color, in Italian), as part of a new partnership with the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum. And, they need artists!

That’s right, folks! If you are, in any way, creatively inclined or would just like a chance to try something different and artistic, this is your ticket. You can participate either as an individual or a team. You can name your team, you can call yourselves Jurassic Art (seriously, someone paint Jeff Goldblum)—the sky’s the limit. Submissions will be taken up until the event, which begins Sept. 13. For more information, feel free to email your questions to

Animal style

Earlier this summer, The Painter’s Group (a collective within the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art that promotes the use of pastels, oils, acrylics, watercolors, and encaustic) asked the members of SLOMA to devise an animal-themed artwork of their choosing. It could be based on literature, mythology, music, or just be an original piece—like the dream I had about a half wombat/half dinosaur called “dinobat.” More than 30 artists responded, and now the exhibit, dubbed Spirit Animals, is currently on display in the museum’s McMeen Gallery.

Personally, I would choose to paint Darkwing Duck, of the popular ’90s children’s cartoon, Darkwing Duck. He’s a daring duck of mystery, a champion of right. And, when he swoops out of the shadows, Darkwing owns the night. I think I’ve made my case. Sadly, no Darkwing Duck is present at the exhibit. He only exists in our dreams, and on late night Disney syndication. But, if you’d like to see the many other, diverse and skilled pieces in Spirit Animals, which runs through Sept. 28, SLOMA is located at 1010 Broad St. in downtown SLO. For more information, visit

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