I Madonnari Sidewalk Art Contest

14th Annual I Madonnari Sidewalk Art High School Contest

Download the 2020 Application Here

Who are the “I Madonnari”?

The Madonnari or Madonna painters go back to the 1500s when traveling folk artists, using brightly-colored chalks, would copy paintings of the Madonna by Raphael, Michelangelo and other Masters onto the pavement of sidewalks or public squares in Italy. This creative and unique art form, also simply known as “street painting” began an artistic tradition that experienced a rebirth in the mid-1970s and is now found throughout the world.

Today, I Madonnari festivals are held annually in Europe, Africa, and the United States. This Competition brings this Renaissance tradition to Houston area high school students. Although Madonna images are still popular, today’s subjects range from traditional master-style works to modern images where the sky (or, more appropriately, the sidewalk) is the limit.

The Competition

Application: To apply, the artist must be a sophomore or junior in high school during Spring 2020. Applications are due no later than September 9th with an application fee of $50. Early Bird applications pay only $35 if application and fee are received by June 30, 2020.

Competition: Each artist will be given a 3’x 3’ square sidewalk space and art supplies. The artist will create his/her work using the chalk supplied. Each artist will be given 6 hours to complete their square.

Prizes: 3rd place winner will receive a $100 cash prize, 2nd place winner will receive a $200 cash prize, and 1st place winner will receive a $300 cash prize.

Admission: Competition is held at the 42nd Houston Italian Festival on the grounds of the University of St. Thomas. Admission is $8 per adult and children under 12 are free. Each contestant will receive two free admissions, one for themselves and one for a guest.