Art and Culture,  Events,  Features

A Summer Tradition: Laguna Beach Festival of Arts

The Festival of Arts is held from July 5- August 31, 2015 in Laguna Beach. The festival is open daily for visitors to enjoy work of exhibited artists, demonstrations and art workshops. This year, the Festival unveiled a new façade and entryway, designed by Bauer Architects.

Looking at art by Lynn Welker. Courtesy of Festival of Arts.
Looking at art by Lynn Welker. Courtesy of Festival of Arts.

You will experience daily on-site exhibitions and demonstrations on the grounds. Special events include art talks and the popular “Art, Jazz, Wine and Chocolate,” on Thursdays and “Concerts on the Green” on Saturdays. In the past, I’ve taken the free Laguna Beach trolley to the Festival and signed my kids up for the art workshops.

Photo courtesy of Festival of Arts
Photo courtesy of Festival of Arts
Photo courtesy of Festival of Arts
Photo courtesy of Festival of Arts

A big part of the festival is the “Pageant of the Masters” a unique production in which famous art work actually comes to life. It is a ninety minute of tableau vivants (living pictures), which recreate classical and contemporary works of art using real people, who are all volunteers, to pose and look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. Add to that a professional orchestra, original score, live narration, sets and lighting, all held in a beautiful outdoor ampitheater and you have the elements of a production to remember! This year’s theme is “The Pursuit of Happiness.”

I had the opportunity to catch some behind the scenes action before the show opened. And let me tell you, it was amazing to watch how one painting came together – the actors as young as 5 years old, sat patiently, as talented makeup artists transformed them into characters in paintings!
The Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. For more information, visit lagunafestivalofarts.org