Art can be found in our everyday lives, but it’s rare to find such a large array of art displays in one space. Orange County hosts two prominent art festivals every year: the Festival of the Arts and the Sawdust Festival. Although the events differ, both promise to present visitors with an astonishing collection of artwork for their viewing pleasure.
Both the Festival of the Arts and the Sawdust Festival are located in Laguna Beach, California, which is notorious for its stunning beaches and famous art galleries. In fact, the two festivals are a mere half-mile apart, making for a quick two-minute drive or fifteen-minute walk from one to the other. Along with some world-renowned restaurants in the area, the festivals are the perfect opportunity for an all-day art extravaganza.
The Festival of the Arts features a variety of art exhibits from a hundred of the best artists in Orange County. Impressive artwork is plastered on walls for visitors to admire and perhaps, purchase. While the majority of presented works are from established artists, the Festival of the Arts also features a Junior Art Exhibit of artwork chosen from students in kindergarten to twelfth grade. Many of the Orange County artists sit alongside their works in order to chat with viewers and potentially sell their paintings, photographs, drawings, or contemporary creations. Those who are out and about leave their contact information and business cards for interested consumers to connect with them. Generally, the Festival of the Arts offers more high-end artwork that costs thousands of dollars, but art enthusiasts on a budget can view them for just ten dollars.
Meanwhile, the Sawdust Festival offers handmade products at a lower range of prices. Although there are also some higher-end works at this event, it focuses more on a variety of handcrafted goods that individual artists can sell to shoppers. The festival houses dozens of booths for visitors to peruse and buy from. From handmade jewelry to painted ceramics to tons of unique postcards and prints, the Sawdust Festival is sure to tempt all its visitors with a myriad of goods. Like the Festival of the Arts, the Sawdust Festival also charges ten dollars for general admission. However, residents of Laguna Beach are able to enter the event for free by simply showing proof of their residence.
If you happen to find yourself with some time to spare, stop by Laguna Beach to visit the Festival of the Arts, the Sawdust Festival, or both!
Iris Lim, Grade 12
Arnold O. Beckman High School