Back in 2003 I got a call from then director of the Youth In Arts Italian Street Painting Festival, Sue Carlomagno, about a crazy idea she was dying to share with me. ‘How would you like to tackle the Sistine Chapel ceiling?’
I knew she & her husband Joe were planning something big for the 10th Anniversary event but I didn’t realize how big! Talk about ambitious – over 300 figures and yards of architecture, this masterpiece would surely be a show stopper if created. A feat never before undertaken at any festival in the world this was going to be a dream project for many folks involved.
Sue asked me to spearhead the project as I had extensive experience in art directing / painting large mural projects and was used to managing teams of artists. I had recently finished off several large Vegas casino mural projects which involved creating over 11,000 sq. ft. of images. I was game and eagerly jumped into the project planning. Additionally, Sue honored me with a request to create the original art for the event poster: a portrait of Michelangelo’s Delphic Sibyl. I used chalk pastels on paper and the original art was framed and then auctioned off as part of the festival fundraising.