Laguna Art Festivals Return After a Year of Shutdown

Hammers bang and the buzz of electric saws resonates through the eucalyptus-shaded grove at 935 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. Funky wooden booths are being constructed — some already done — and the small, friendly village of artists that comprises the Sawdust Art Festival is once again taking shape in Laguna Beach.

It's the return of a summer tradition that started in 1967. But after a yearlong hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the return of festival art season in Laguna Beach takes on special meaning this year.

"We're so excited. Aside from the financial setback (the pandemic) caused, it's a gathering of the tribe," said Shamus Koch, a found-object sculptor who's been in the Sawdust for 23 years. "All that was disrupted — it affected our psyche. Of course, you miss the money. My entire income, other than the rental that I have, comes from the Sawdust summer and winter shows. We forget what a great opportunity the Sawdust is, until you don’t have it anymore."

In addition to the Sawdust, Laguna Art-A-Fair is returning at 777 Laguna Canyon Road; and just across the street, the granddaddies of them all, the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters, are getting ready for their big summer shows too.

So far, preparations behind the scenes and on the grounds are going smoothly, and the hope is, after the state officially reopens on June 15, things might go back to the way they looked in 2019.

But there is still doubt and uncertainty about this pesky and deadly coronavirus bug.

Hidden Gems Across OC Perfect for Summer Hikes

Across Orange County there are a variety of parks and hiking trails that provide some of the best views of the coastal and inland cities of Southern California. There is also an abundance of biodiversity among these hidden gems, making outdoor activities during the summer even more enjoyable.

Orange County has advanced to the Yellow Tier of the California Re-Opening Plan. This is an extraordinary achievement in public health, and means that many live, indoor events will be able to resume. In addition, the state remains on target for full re-opening on June 15th. Safety precautions and protocols will remain in place and should be heeded to protect the gains we've made; but Arts Orange County is proud to celebrate the return of gathering to enjoy the arts, and hopes you take advantage of the opportunity when you're ready! 


Shakespeare's The Tempest

The splendid gardens of Casa Romantica serve as the backdrop for this staging of the classic tale of magic, revenge, and love on an island of wonders  DETAILS »


Brea Art Gallery: Filipino Folk Dance

A special celebration of Philippines Independence Day that can be viewed both online and in-person outdoors at the Brea Civic Center Plaza  DETAILS »


Breathe - A New Musical

Five songwriting teams and five directors join forces for this groundbreaking new musical that deals with the outbreak of COVID-19, presented in a virtual staging by Laguna Playhouse  DETAILS »


Parent & Me Painting at Sherman Gardens

Sherman Gardens invites families to this joint workshop for creating a nature journal and using watercolors to capture the life you see around you  DETAILS »


Fragmentation and Harmony

This joint exhibition by artists Soheila Siadate and Joshua Elias at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art offers different perspectives on the use of form and energy  DETAILS »

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Voice of OC is Orange County's nonprofit newsroom with a mission to consistently deliver fair, focused and thorough journalism on critical quality of life and local issues for Orange County communities.

Arts Orange County builds appreciation of, participation in and support for the arts and arts education throughout Orange County. Event information provided by SparkOC, an Arts OC program.