Chalk Urban Art Festival is on sabbatical in 2012 exploring international opportunities. Stay in touch and become involved in our plans for 2013!
Jenny grabs gold for Australia at ‘Olympics’ of street painting!
Australian artist and two-time Champion of Chalk Urban Art Festival, Jenny McCracken is celebrating after winning gold for Australia at the ‘Olympics’ of street painting in Italy. Jenny won first place in her division at the historic 40th anniversary of the world’s oldest street painting festival – Incontro Nazionale dei Madonnari – at Grazie di Curtatone in Lombardy,about 130km southeast of Milan.
Jenny, who took on the world’s best for the first time in front of about 200,000 people, will now return home with the historic honour as Australia’s first ‘Madonnara’. Jenny impressed the judges with her original design, technique and skill of anamorphic perspective for her piece ‘Assunzione della Grazie’.
Following Jenny on her journey and throughout the competition was a film crew, who are making a documentary of her journey to be screened in Australia and worldwide in 2013. The documentary will be edited by Rodrigo Balart, who is also currently working on Oscar-winning director James Cameron’s latest project – Deep Sea Challenge.
“I am absolutely ecstatic,” she said. “It’s such an honour to be here representing Australia so successfully, alongside so many exceptional artists from around the world. I had hoped to win but didn’t expect to, and to have achieved it is the fulfilment of a lifelong dream of mine. I’m looking forward to getting home and sharing my experiences with the Australian street painters, and am proud to be the only Australian to have ever won at Grazie.”
There were three levels to the competition in Grazie, and while Jenny has won the title of Champion Pavement Artist twice in Australia, she came in to the competition in Grazie as a novice in the ‘Madonnari Semplici’ division. She now enters the next level ‘Qualificato’, and the next step will be to win that division to become a‘Maestro’.
“It was a fierce competition at all levels, but it was also more a competition against the fierce heat, the rough surface and lack of sleep, than just against the other artists,” Jenny added.
“The 24-hour competition definitely required all my stamina, and a strong mind and body to work all night – luckily I was able get through it.”
When the festival first began 40 years ago, a handful of artists took part, and the hope was to keep this traditional art form alive. This year, 146 artists from Italy, Germany, France, Japan, Mexico, Peru, USA, Korea, North Africa and Australia made the pilgrimage to Grazie to pay homage to the traditions of the art form.
The winner of the Qualificato division and new Maestro was Juandres Vera from Mexico for his original artwork ‘La Pieta’ inspired by Michelangelo’s sculpture of the same name. The winner of the Maestro division was Ketty Grossi.
Jenny has competed, won and headlined many festivals around the world, including the hugely
successful and long-running Chalk Urban Art Festival, which is usually held annually in Parramatta, Sydney.
Andi Mether, founder and director of Chalk Urban Art Festival and filmmaker on Jenny’s journey, said the festival took a sabbatical this year due to the Italy trip and making the documentary.
“After seven years and 10 festivals, we decided to take a break to step back and network, recharge the batteries, and bring fresh ideas to the streets in 2013,” Andi said.
“I’m most excited about the documentary we’re making about our Italian journey, and the
international opportunities for artists at other festivals around the world. We’ve already got some great vision of how the art of street painting has developed, followed Jenny’s progress and success, and interviewed many colourful personalities along the way.”
The major sponsor for the project is Forming Circles, a unique Australian organisation that is committed to providing positive outcomes for Australian individuals and groups, while the distinguished patron is Mrs C. Norman, a strong supporter of emerging artists and Chalk Urban Art Festival for a number of years.
Stay in touch with us and view the documentary in 2013.