The Sawdust Art and Craft Festival is one of the three festivals that take place every summer in Laguna Beach.
The festival origins date back to 1965 when a group of artists broke away from the Festival of Arts. The movement was a direct protest to the original show’s jury system. The press was not so kind to the renegades and called them “The Rejects.”
With time, the show has evolved and nowadays counts with the participation of about 200 local artists (they have to reside in Laguna Beach).
Since it is a non juried show, amateurs have the opportunity to exhibit along people who have been for a long time in the industry. To me, this is an excellent way to promote arts and to give a push to those wanting to make a living of their talents and passions.
A ticket vendor representing another festival tried to convince us to visit one of the two juried shows instead. He appealed to quality related issues. For some reason, I had my heart set up on the Sawdust and continued with my original plan.
Let me tell you I was not disappointed. This place surpassed all my expectations.
The setting was so inviting and peaceful. Imagine a three acre piece of land covered by trees, adorned by a waterfall and a waterwheel. Small wooden booths are scattered all around. Each booth is filled with treasures in the form of pictures, paintings, glass sculptures, leather works, ceramics, jewelry and other pieces that your mind is not able to conceive.
There is music spreading a good vibe. You can sit down and have a delicious meal under the shadow of the trees and then, at your own pace, continue taking a look at more art. There is the opportunity to talk to the artists and take a peek at their world.
As a curious little kid, I didn’t stop asking, “Where did you take that picture?” I got out with a long list of new places to visit in the area.
I took several business cards with the hopes that one day I will be able to take a photography class with the artists that blew my mind away.
Here are some photos that hopefully will give you a glimpse of what I am writing about.
Note: I didn’t take a lot of photos since rules and good manners dictate you should not take photos of photos or paintings. Also, you should ask for permission before photographing any work.
Until next year art festivals!
– The festival is open daily during the months of July and August.
– Individual tickets are around $8. It is possible to get discounts.
– The festival has a winter edition. For details, check this page.
– The other festivals in Laguna Beach are Festival of the Arts and Art-A-Fair. With a special ticket called Passport to the Arts, you can get unlimited admission to the three festival throughout summer (price about $20 and includes one day of parking).
– You can park in the downtown lots and walk or at the lot in Laguna Canyon Road and take the shuttle. All day parking is about $10.
– Parking on the streets is limited to two hours (metered).
Have you been to one of the summer art festivals?