I was thrilled to find out that Laguna Beach is an art mecca!! We passed gallery after gallery on our way to the festival, and indeed on the same road as the festival we passed an art masters festival and one called Art a Fair! Upon entering the Sawdust Art Festival we were met with a labyrinth of artist booths of various mediums and a swirl of competing colors! There were live musicians playing, an amazing fellow demonstrating glass blowing inside a cage with a furnace heated to 2100 degrees, booths for budding artists of every age to try simple arts and crafts, and booth after crazy booth of art by living artists!
The range of artwork was tremendous. There were incredibly detailed and elaborate paintings, sculptures, jewelry, photography, as well as the broad, whimsical, unique and unusual. I was overwhelmed and saturated. There were also unique and hand made clothing, pottery and glassware, there were prints, and print makers, books, note cards, and mixed media. Each artist displayed his work in a distinct, covered space. The spaces were unique also. Open to the sawdust/woodchip walkways, some were big, some very small, some with walk around room, others not so much. It was exhilarating and exhausting!
The festival runs from June 26th to August 30th this year, daily from 10am-10pm and is open to Laguna Beach artists only. Wow! What a commitment but what exposure! We were there on a Monday and there were plenty of people. It didn’t feel crowded but it did seem well attended. The admission cost was $7.50 for adults, although there is also the option of a season pass for $15. Well worth it! Check out the website http://www.sawdustartfestival.org
If that were not enough, we stopped at a couple of galleries on our way out of town. My favorite was the perfect ending to the day. After a day of gorging on art by my contemporaries, I had the opportunity to gaze on art by artists that have stood the test of time at Laguna Fine Art. Picasso caught my eye in the window, and then Dali, and Chagall. I entered into what seemed like a sanctuary of more work by those artists as well as Rembrandt, Toulouse Lautrec, Matisse, and more.
Laguna Beach seems like an art lover’s heaven! I am eagerly looking forward to another visit. I hope to spend an art drenched vacation there in the near future. Oh, and did I mention the ocean views?