FESTA!’s Gesso Italiano (Italian Chalk) presented by Mossy FIAT

2014 Gesso Italiano Winners

Little Italy FESTA! and Gesso Italian returned for its 20th anniversary in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood, October 11 and 12.  The festival is one of San Diego’s most beloved annual events, and with our comprehensive marketing program, we attracted more than 120,000 people who look forward to seeing all the beautiful creations and to meeting the artists.  Applications to participate in Gesso Italiano 2015 will become available in June 2015.  We will continue to accept applications until all spaces are filled.

In honor of the FESTA’s 20th Anniversary, we feautured several artists working together to create a collaborative, oversized (20′x30′) chalk art piece that depicted this beautiful image (above) of the Virgin Mary in stained glass, from Duomo di Milano.  Our thanks go to veteran Gesso Italiano artist Cecilia Linayao for coordination of this multiple-artist piece.

Interested chalkers were encouraged once again to depict something Italian, or Italian/American in nature.  This neighborhood has deep roots in Italian culture, and there was definitely a wide representation of inspiration…from Italian visual and performing arts, to Italian products/design/fashion, to the beautiful landscapes of Italy. Artists expressed their creativity within the broad parameters of this fun theme.

For the festival, each artist was provided a 8 foot by 8 foot square for their chalking pleasure.  The Gesso Italiano feature of the Little Italy Festa will take place in a new location for the 2015 event.

Prizes will be determined as follows:

Best in Show:  $500

Peoples’ Choice:  $350

Best High School:  $250

Best School (Middle School or Younger):  $150

(Prizes will be judged by expert jurors, except for People’s Choice which is chosen by attendees.)

For Festa 2015, we will have some hotel accommodations available for out of town artists.  Priority for hotel accommodations will be based on level of expertise, with expert artists getting highest priority.  Hopefully we can accommodate everyone who needs a room, we will certainly attempt to do so.  Typically hotel rooming lists are finalized a few weeks before the festival and at that time, we will send out confirmations.

As a participant, you will receive:

  • Event T-Shirt;
  • Simple breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday;
  • Snacks available throughout the day;
  • Water available throughout the day;
  • Designated free parking; and
  • Chalk will be available for your use as well.

The attached application is a “fillable pdf”.   Please fill it in, save it with a file name that indicates your name, and after you save it you can email it back to us, or print and send it.  Note that you will need to save the document with a new name or the fields will appear blank.  PLEASE NOTE THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS SEPTEMBER 10, 2015.

Please feel free to pass this along to fellow chalk artists. We would love to make a very strong showing this year in San Diego for the 21th Anniversary of FESTA.

We love our chalk artists, and our team of staff and volunteers works hard to ensure that you are welcomed and comfortable during the event.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.


Gesso Italiano Team (info@littleitalyfestasd.com)


Interested artists will be able to download the Gesso Italiano application in June 2015.