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Chasing Down The Muse: Sawdust season is nearing its close

“Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting …"



Gotta love our language. Is summer winding up or winding down as we near the end of August? Maybe both?


At the Sawdust Art Festival, where I spend the majority of my summertime, certainly both things seem true. Artists are revving up for the final days of the show, hoping to end up having made enough sales in these 66 days to help with more fallow times.

The artists who are members of the Sawdust are also readying for board member elections at the end of the month. Three of the nine board terms end each August, and there is quite a flurry as new and old seek office. As a new member of the staff, I can no longer actively involve myself or vote, but I will watch closely what transpires.

Another event of the end of the summer — and one with which I am closely involved — is the second annual Collectors’ Panels Auction from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday. This event was successful in its inaugural year and provided the festival with much-needed funding for art education programs.

On Sunday morning, there will be a steady flurry of activity as the panels are transported to and placed strategically on the entertainment deck in readiness for the late-afternoon auction.


The fun team of auctioneer Michael Klingenmeier and his sidekick, the dazzling Angela Cripps, will be gathering last-minute information on the 50-some panels to be auctioned. Over the course of the summer, many panels were already sold at “Buy It Now” prices, but there were more being turned in right up to the last minute.

This means there are always some outstanding works of art done by painters, jewelers, sculptors, mixed-media artists and more from which to choose. Best of all, there will be some fantastic bargains.

Mike and Angie will also keep up a pre-auction patter of promotion and music for us, keeping us all entertained as setup continues. Patrons can mill about and make last-minute silent bids or just wait until the clock strikes 3 p.m. and the intense auctioning winds “up.”

Last year, the bidding was fast-paced and lively, so don’t be late. Come early to see what there is in the way of all art on the grounds, get your bid card and stay for the auction. Enjoy an easy, breezy Sunday afternoon and evening amid the myriad enticements of this great festival held each year in the beautiful eucalyptus grove. You’ll find plenty to fill your eyes and your head and your heart.

Whether end of summer is winding up or down, the festivals in this town have much to offer, so don’t miss the opportunity to check this one out for yourself.

CHERRIL DOTY is an artist, writer, counselor…always fascinated, inspired, and titillated by the beauty and mysteries of life. She can be reached at or (714) 745-9973.