Art festival season in Laguna Beach starts Friday

Two of Laguna Beach’s famed summer art festivals will open their gates to eager visitors Friday, continuing decades-long traditions.

Laguna Art-A-Fair and the Sawdust Art & Craft Festival will open at 10 a.m. Friday, and the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters begin their shows July 5 and 7, respectively.

The Festival of Arts is celebrating its 85th anniversary with a $10-million makeover of its grounds with wider pathways, updated restrooms, tensile roof pavilions that shield art from sun and rain, and an expanded and relocated gift shop.

Each show offers its own nuances, with artists exhibiting a variety of work such as paintings, sculptures and photography. Essential information for each show is listed below, including notable activities and performances.

Laguna Art-A-Fair

What: The festival features works from more than 120 artists from around the world, including 34 new artists, in media that includes oil, acrylic, jewelry, leather, photography, ceramics, glass and wood sculpture. Beginning and intermediate artists who are at least 16 can learn new techniques during daily workshops.

When: Friday through Sept. 3; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 4 and Sept. 3.

Where: 777 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

Highlights: Local musicians perform live music, with dancing in the entertainment courtyard, Thursdays through Sundays. Scheduled performers include Black Cat Mojo, San Manuel Quartet, Dig Deeper and Solspeak.

Cost: Adults, $8; seniors (65 and older), military, students, $6; children 12 and younger, free with adult admission; Pageant of the Masters ticket holders admitted free on the day of performance. One-time admission includes admittance for the duration of this year’s show. Laguna Beach residents get in free with valid identification.

Information:, (949) 494-4514

Sawdust Art & Craft Festival

What: The event draws more than 200 new and returning Laguna Beach artists specializing in various media, including hand-blown and fused glass, painting, jewelry, ceramics, clothing and textiles, photography and scrimshaw. The nine-week festival features live art demonstrations, workshops and fashion shows.

When: Friday through Sept. 3; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 4.

Where: 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

Highlights: Sawdust will hold preschool art mornings every Wednesday for children 2 and older, “Sip, Talk & Walk,” an insider’s guide through the grounds with a complimentary wine tasting, and the HeART of Fashion Show on Aug. 27.

Cost: Adults, $9; seniors 65 and older, $7; children ages 6 through 12, $4; children 5 and under are admitted free

Information:, (949) 494-3030.

Festival of Arts

What: A professional juried show featuring 140 Orange County artists who specialize in media including painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics and jewelry. This year’s show features live music, jazz concerts, wine and chocolate pairings, guided art tours and art workshops.

When: July 5 through Aug. 31; 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily; closes at 1 p.m. Aug. 26.

Where: 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

Highlights: A new event called “Salute to the Arts” will be held on Sundays and spotlight a different art form, whether it be theater, literature or dance. On Fridays, the festival will introduce a music series called “Step into the Spotlight” in which backup vocalists take center stage. The annual Runway Fashion Show is scheduled for noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 12.

Cost: General admission: $8 weekdays, $12 weekends; students and seniors, $5 weekdays, $8 weekends; children 12 and younger, military and Laguna Beach residents are free.

Information:, (800) 487-3378.

Pageant of the Masters

What: The 90-minute show features re-creations of classical and contemporary works of art, with real people posing to look like their counterparts in the original pieces. A live narrator guides the audience through each work of art with accompaniment from an orchestra. This year’s theme is “The Grand Tour,” meant to spotlight the European tradition of traveling to multiple continents to see the world’s great art.

When: July 7 through Aug. 31; 8:30 p.m. nightly

Where: Irvine Bowl at Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

Highlights: Works from artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Pietro Longhi, and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, along with a celebration of Carnival in Venice, Italy, and Paris in the 20th century.

Cost: Advance tickets: $15 to $230

Information:, (800) 487-3378

Twitter: @AldertonBryce


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