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Laguna Beach's 85th art festival opens with an upgraded exhibition space

Laguna Beach's 85th art festival opens with an upgraded exhibition space
An artist's rendering of the new exhibition space for the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach. (Bauer Architects)

The Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach may have pulled off its most ambitious work of art yet: a complete renovation of its exhibition space in just nine months.

The outdoor festival, now in its 85th year, opened Wednesday in a more contemporary-looking space marked by curvy roof panels to better protect the art and patrons, an expanded and revamped gift shop, and wider walkways amid the gallery-style booths.

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The site at 650 Laguna Canyon Road also houses the stage for the Pageant of the Masters living art show.

The 1964 exhibit space was trashed in October, and workers moved quickly to have the upgraded space ready in time for the festival's opening.

Bauer Architects oversaw the $10.5-million renovation of the more than 30,000-square-foot grounds.

The festival in its new digs features 140 artists and a Junior Art Exhibit of young talent, now near the festival's entrance. During the summer, festival-goers can take daily art tours, hear live music, dine at on-site restaurants and watch art demonstrations too.

The festival runs daily from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. through Aug. 31. Tickets for adults cost $8 on weekdays, $12 on weekends. Children 12 and younger get in free.

Pageant of the Masters also runs through Aug. 31; tickets start at $15 per person.

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