BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Many artists and visitors gathered at the Marketplace over the weekend to take part in the annual Italian street painting festival.

Since 1998, the street painting festival has become a Bakersfield tradition, showcasing hundreds of pieces of art from the Renaissance period to comic book characters.

Kevin Hardin, a dedicated artist, has seen all 25 years of pastel meeting pavement with this local tradition. “There’s not a lot of opportunities for artists in Bakersfield. So, you better jump on it when it pops up,” says Hardin. This dedicated artist produced a 3-D version of the Mona Lisa of Galilee and his dream is a bigger art scene in Bakersfield.

The contest is over, but Ana Reyes is still working. “Doing it for fun, and showing, like, showing off my talents to everybody and maybe be an inspiration to younger generations,” says Reyes.

Scarlett Steiner is also still working and inspiring. She painted Stitch wearing a onesie.

“With the chalk, I would lightly color it and I would blend it. Then I would add some more color,” said Steiner. “I really like him, and I think he’s really cute.”

Most of the artists at Via Arte don’t do it to win. As a matter of fact, Rmayte Mendez won Best in Festival, and she doesn’t even know what she won. “This is Caravaggio. He’s my all-time favorite artist” said Mendez.

Mendez says it took 24 hours to paint the masterpiece from the Renaissance, but she didn’t do it alone.