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marian chalk artist
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Maria Loh
Madonna of the Streets

Marian chalk artist, Maria Loh, visited Siouxland Catholic Radio in conjunction with the Spring Pledge Drive and First Ever Youth Art Festival thanks to a grant from the Gilchrest Foundation.  


Maria has been featured in several publications including Catholic News Agency. She discovered her passion for chalk art six summers ago.  Maria stated, “I knew nothing about chalk until I picked up a box several summers ago and started doodling.” Maria simultaneously discovered the rich history of street art and the Catholic tradition surrounding chalk art.  


Chalking the streets is believed to have its beginnings in Europe between the 13th to 16th centuries. Madonnaris, or chalk artists, travel to various festivals drawing the Madonna or religious icons using chalk and other materials.

Thursday, April 21, Maria created the painting of "Madonna of the Streets" on the sidewalk in front of the station’s West Fifth Street entrance.


“Madonna of the Streets is one of my favorite paintings. The story behind it is so captivating and since it's the ‘Madonna of the Streets’ and I'm a street artist, it seemed to fit perfectly!” Maria proclaimed.


“Madonna of the Streets” is a painting originally created by Roberto Ferruzzi of a girl and her brother. The painting made its first appearance at a Venice art exhibition and has become popularized for two reasons. First, the painting inspires service to the poor and those helping women and children. Secondly, the painting has been perceived as an image of the Virgin Mary.


Friday, April 22, Maria visited students at St. Michael’s Catholic School in South Sioux City, Nebraska, as well as some of the Bishop Heelan Catholic School System buildings. 


Joanne concluded, “Siouxland Catholic Radio hopes those who experienced Maria’s and the youth’s artwork will view it as a reflection of the magnificence of our world! We feel those who experience these artistic creations will have their faith enhanced, feel closer to God and His majesty, and be elevated in their lives.”

Stories on Maria's visit to Sioux City:


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