The Madonnari were street painters that originated in Italy, brightening and beautifying streets with impermanent chalk art.
Today, there are many festivals of chalk painters in big cities throughout the world. The art has been slow to come to Alaska, with our short chalking season and unpredictable weather, but the Midnight Madonnari persevere!
Started by Victoria Regina, a transplant from Colorado, this group has included Jennie Seay, Liz Humphries, Ellen Million, and a variety of transient chalk-helpers, including Tammy, Ruthanne and Hayley. We do chalk paintings at the Midnight Sun Festival downtown, and do many 'warm-up' pieces at Griffin park on weekends. We've done reproductions of pieces from many major artists, chosing pieces for whimsy, color (what chalks do we have?) and composition - pretty much in that order. These are just a few of the pieces locals may have seen along the bike path or on 2nd avenue since we began in 2007:
If you have enjoyed the beauty we've brought to the Fairbanks streets, please consider tipping! The special chalks we need for creating these pieces have to be ordered from out of state and aren't cheap. A few dollars towards our costs goes a long way to keeping up creating! Donations are processed through paypal, for your security and privacy:
Can Midnight Madonnari be hired to beautify your street or school for a special event?
Use the contact form to let us know if you'd like to hire us; we need asphalt to work on, as our chalks don't stick to cement. Rates are negotiable.
Are you art students at UAF?
We are not. By profession and education, we include scientists, architects, engineers, drafters, and programmers.
Can I chalk, too?
If you would like to join us in chalking, we do ask that you contact us in advance, and be sober. (Drunkenly asking for our expensive chalk will not get you far...)
How long do your street paintings last?
In good weather and with low traffic, they usually last a week or so. Rain, wind and traffic may blow them away sooner.
Isn't that sad?
Not at all! The impermanent nature of the chalk painting is part of its charm, like ice art! It gives us a chance to stretch our creative muscles and start over fresh every time. It's like a bag of holding, but in canvas, capable of infinite layers of artwork. We get photos and great memories from our work; that's enough.