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Frida Kahlo with Parrot by Alina Dalinina, the piece of the year at the Madonnari Festival in Iowa

03 May 2024

The two-day festival will take place on May 4 and 5 along Mount Vernon’s historic 1st Street.

This year's major community piece, "Frida Kahlo with Parrot," was made by Zhytomyr, Ukraine-based artist Alina Dalinina. During the two-day festival  dozens of attendees will perform a live recreation of the artwork.
Inspired by self-portraits that Frida Kahlo drew during her lifetime, the image will be recreated as a 34' x 44' chalk mural. Artists of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds will use pure pigment pastel chalk sticks to create an allotted 2' x 2' square of the mural for a $10 donation to the event.The Frida Kahlo theme was requested by Mount Vernon and the Chalk the Walk committee because this year's celebration coincides with Cinco de Mayo.

“Mount Vernon and the Chalk the Walk committee wanted a Frida Kahlo theme this year as this year’s festival corresponds with Cinco de Mayo,” said Matt Siders, Director of Parks and Rec for the City of Mount Vernon and Chair of the Chalk the Walk Committee. “We loved Dalinina’s colorful portraits reminiscent of Kahlo’s many self portraits, and are thrilled Dalinina gave us rights to recreate her artwork on festival grounds.”

The original art form on which Chalk the Walk is based dates back to the 16th century in Italy. Known as Madonnari, street artists first created this type of public art in an effort to get money from onlookers. Since the Madonna was a popular subject, images from that era often had religious themes. These artists became known as the "Madonnari."