Shortened by pandemic last year, more familiar sawdust art festival reopens in Laguna Beach
Boasting an outdoor market, the Sawdust Art Festival did not close its doors last summer, but the pandemic limited it to weekends.
This year’s event, which opened on Friday, is more like it once was, especially with the reopening of the Arts Festival and Masters Competition nearby.
“I’ve been here for 38 summers, I think, and to me, I feel right at home again,” said artist Ora Sterling. “It’s like we’ve had a forced vacation, and I was delighted to set up my booth, and on opening day, as soon as I heard the music playing, it was like, ‘Oh, we are back ! ” It was good. It was really good.
Sterling’s space featured heart-shaped clay rocks attached to driftwood. It’s a project Sterling won’t soon forget because of the company she shares it with: her mother, Willoughby Chamberlain, who turns 100 in August. (Chamberlain, by the way, performed in the first Pageant of the Masters in 1933.)
“I take care of the projects, and my mom helps me roll clay balls, and we’re working on it together,” Sterling said.
Hedy Buzan, a second-generation Laguna artist, grew up visiting the grounds along Laguna Canyon Road, where her father, Boris, used to show his work.
She first exhibited in the mid-1980s and celebrates the freedom that the festival offers to attendees.
“The good thing about Sawdust is that it isn’t put on a jury, so you can do whatever you want,” said Buzan, who brought an acrylic, minimalist and abstract, various monotypes and “almost cartoon” images of Eve. .
Buzan also showed his appreciation for a donor who wished to remain anonymous.
“A client sent me two checks for $ 500 and he said, ‘We don’t want any artwork.’ Just keep working, ”said Buzan. “It was very nice.”
Now in its 55th year, Sawdust is also known for its focus on local artists and artisans. The event space, which is really carpeted with sawdust, has a feel unique to Laguna.
“It’s just a very different and unique vibe, compared to other art festivals, and I think that’s one of the things that really sets us apart, it’s just the look and the overall feel. of Sawdust, ”Monica Prado, festival board chairperson, said. “It’s hard to find anything to compare it to, and I think people really wanted to relive that, and they are, and it shows in the joy of the artists and their creations as well. “
Across the park on Independence Day, patrons were able to enjoy live music, shop, and watch artists, including painters and glassblowers, at work.
“We wanted to go to the Sawdust Festival, hang out on July 4th, celebrate the holidays and enjoy an outdoor festival with the family,” said Kayla Linson of Los Angeles.
The festival is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays until September 5.
Admission is $ 10 for adults, $ 7 for seniors and $ 5 for children 6 to 12 years old. Children under 5 are free.
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