Chasing Down the Muse: Get ready for summer festivals


It may be the sound of the clock in the background or the ticking off of items on the checklist.

That time is upon us. Most of the preview nights will happen in the next week (along with a host of other June events, of course.) The excitement builds as the artists ready themselves and their booths for these momentous events. Summertime is here.

Each of the artists has his or her own style of prepping before the festivals begin, but every one of them has a checklist of some sort.

Get booth built. Paint it. So many delicious colors from which to choose. Assemble work station. Benches? Display pieces/cases? These are some of the basics.

Bags and/or boxes. Price tags. Titles. Sales book. Booth number and name. Business cards. Signage. Handling credit card transactions. These are just some of the extra things one has to think about when setting up a booth at one of our local summer art festivals.

Booths are ready. There is little or no time left for creating new art. The decisions have pretty much all been made by now. It's time to hang the art, price it if needed, and do all the last minute touches that make the shows pop. The artists are eager to show off their new and emerging work.

Whether Art-A-Fair, Festival of Arts, or Sawdust Art Festival, the corporations, too, have had a lot of preparation to do. Hiring and training of new summer employees. New seasonal landscaping chosen and installed. Food concessions manned with new menus ready. Directories, ads, programs, and all other media materials have been prepared. Everyone hopes there is nothing forgotten as the day of opening nears.

The city, too, has had much to do in preparation — summertime hiring, trams, banners displayed, and so much more.

For the artists themselves all should be ready now.

Art wired for hanging … check.

Wrapping supplies … check.

Price list ready … check.

Preview Night party passes given out … check.

Food for the party … check.

Breathe … just breathe.

In the peaceful morning broken only by the sound of raucous crows calling out, we get ready for celebration. It will be the celebration of both completion and another new beginning — successful completion of the myriad tasks and hopes for a successful festival season.

Hope to see you out and about. Take a tram.

CHERRIL DOTY is an artist, writer and director of the Sawdust Studio Art Classes in Laguna Beach. Always fascinated, inspired, and titillated by the beauty and the ever-changing mysteries of life, she can be reached at or by phone at (714) 745-9973.

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