September brings I Madonnari festival, other art events to SLO

September brings the I Madonnari festival and other art events to SLO

September 2, 2012 

"Go to Your Studio and Make Stuff” is a fabulous book of posters by Fred Babb, the late artist who had a shop in Cambria called What Iz Art. You can get a new copy of the out-of-print book online for $85.

Amazon tells me I can trade my copy for a $1.50 gift card. Not a chance. Babb’s 26 posters of paintings with text include gems like “art can’t hurt you” and “art is a place kids travel to where they feel good about themselves: keep their passports current.”

It’s this kind of thinking that fuels a few art picks for this week. First, we’ve got I Madonnari next weekend in Mission Plaza, San Luis Obispo. Chalk paintings on the street range from kid stuff on free 2-foot-by-2-foot squares to 12-foot-by-12-foot squares sponsored for $500 and filled in by professional artists.

Proceeds go to the Children’s Creative Project, a nonprofit arts education organization that is co-sponsoring the Italian street painting festival with the American Institute of Architects California Central Coast chapter.

Consider buying a square next year. They start at $75 and participating is a fun and creative way to donate to a great cause. A Tribune graphic artist designed a Focus (now Ticket) cover for the features staff to replicate at I Madonnari in 1995, and some news staff (including me) ended up covered in chalk with big smiles.

Another nonprofit group that will benefit from artists who aren’t afraid to paint on unusual surfaces is ASD, which financially aids families that foster county shelter adopted animals. Baywood artist Jayne Behman rounded up thrift store leather purses, prepped them with clear gesso and handed them out to several local artists to paint an animal or Central Coast image.

The “Critter Bags” will be exhibited and sold at Heaven and Earth Gallery, 964 Chorro St. in San Luis Obispo, Tuesday through Sept. 30. The artist reception will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday.

Playing records on the radio is darn near as fun and creative as going to your studio to make stuff and it turns out Janelle Younger does both. The former KOTR regular has a weekly show on KCBX and has lined up her first solo art show at Linnaea’s on Garden Street in San Luis Obispo through the end of the month. “Found-object assemblage art and collage” means the artist collects interesting tidbits from here and there to create one-of-kind pieces that mean something to them and oftentimes wind up expressing something universal. Meet Younger from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday during Art After Dark.

Younger says she’s inspired by Michael deMeng, whom a couple of my music junkie friends revere about as much as their favorite rock stars. Visit http://michaeldemeng . blogspot.com.

Contact freelance writer Monica Fiscalini at Monica_Jane 2000@yahoo.com.

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