Italian Street Painting Festival
San Rafael CA

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When I first heard about the street painting festival it didn't really sound like much, once I saw what it was all about I was blown away. I thought I'd share this year's with you so everyone who's never been can see it for themselves. That and I finally remembered to bring my camera with me.

They close off two of the main streets downtown, right in front of the mission, for three blocks a few days beforehand and put down a fresh layer of tar. Companies pay for squares of pavement, it benefits the Youth in Arts program, and get artists to do chalk drawings. You can see the sponsor's names stenciled at the top of some of my pictures. Most of the squares are six feet or so but a few are a lot bigger. You can also buy a two by two kiddie square.

A fair number of these people are professional artists. They spend all day Saturday and Sunday putting down chalk and using all types of tools, or their hands, to smooth the colors together. These pictures are on Sunday evening and some of them are still working away.

After dark Sunday the street cleaners come through and wash it all away.

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