Roadside Street Art

Street Art AP

The CBS News Sunday Morning Roadside trip made a stop in downtown San Rafael, Calif.

There, it was the annual Italian Street Painting Festival, which always draws a crowd.

Every June, artists from California to Italy are invited to leave their studios and try their hand at sidewalk art. This year, they are re-creating the entire ceiling of the Sistine Chapel on the streets of San Rafael. What took Michelangelo four years, will be fashioned there in just a few days!

"I've been working on it for three days, and I'd like to have three more days," said Genna Panzarella, an artist.

Panzarella has been part of the festival since it began, ten years ago.

"I requested to draw in chalk the Garden of Eden scene, so I get to draw Adam and Eve with this delicious snake," he said.

The tradition of street painters, called "Madonnari," has its roots in 16th century Europe.

"There's a wide variety of materials that people like to use," said Tracy Stum, the coordinator of the artists. "We're using chalk pastels, homemade and pretty much anything else that we can get our hands on that sticks to the pavement."

A fund-raiser for a local arts organization, the San Rafael festival, encourages children to chalk it up. And what would a summer festival be, without a little music, dancing and Italian sausage.

An Italian Renaissance, on the streets of San Rafael.
  • Rome Neal

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