If you haven’t made it out to this year’s Sawdust Festival, you still have a couple of days to head to Laguna Beach and check out all that it has to offer. Started in 1965, the festival strives to educate the public while also showcasing the work of local artists.
History of the Sawdust Festival
The Sawdust Festival was started by a small group of artists who were looking for a new way and independent way to fuel their artistic passion. At that time, the group set up in a vacant lot located across the street from what is now the Laguna Beach library. While they did enjoy moderate success, the lack of strong leadership made it impossible for the festival to continue the following year. With the help of new leadership in 1967, the Laguna Beach Artists and Gallery-Owners Association was formed. With Dolores Ferrell as president, the group leased a dirt lot on the North Coast Highway and successfully brought together a number of disenfranchised artists and craftsman.
The second year of the festival was a great success. With sawdust spread on the grounds in an effort to keep the dust down within the dirt lot, the media dubbed the show the Sawdust Festival. The following year, the festival took place on a two-and-a-half acre eucalyptus grove at 935 Laguna Canyon Road owned by Walter and Dorothy Funk. Today, the Sawdust Art Festival remains dedicated to educating the public and promoting the art created in Laguna Beach.
Enjoying the Sawdust Art Festival
The nonprofit Sawdust Art Festival attracts more than 200,000 visitors worldwide every year. During the event, visitors are invited to shop along the sawdust-covered paths as they explore the handcrafted village of fine arts and craftsmanship. The event also features art demonstration booths such as glassblowing as well as a children’s art booth, a Ceramic Center and complimentary hands-on workshops. Live musical entertainment and refreshments from four outdoor cafes and a saloon are also available. All artists that exhibit during the festival are residents of Laguna Beach.
Unlike other summer art festivals in Laguna Beach, the Sawdust Art Festival is non-juried. As such, it helps to support the careers of many local artists. All forms of art can be enjoyed at the festival, including:
• Clothing and Textiles
• Mixed Media
• Print Making
Taking place over a 9-week period starting in June every year, the Sawdust Art Festival will continue through September 3rd this year. So, if you have not managed to make it to the festival yet, or if you simply wish to go back before the festival is done for the year, you can still head out there this weekend to check it out. The festival continues to take place at 935 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. Metered parking is available along Laguna Canyon Road and in downtown Laguna Beach, which is just a short walk from the festival. Metered parking, which accepts credit cards and quarters, is at the rate of $.25 for 10 minutes. Pay lots are also available around downtown Laguna Beach at a rate of $8 to $20 per day.