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Spotlight: Summer Arts

It’s the time of year when exploring art doesn’t mean spending the day inside a museum. Laguna Beach’s big three events that run through next month make this the season to get up close and personal with many painters, sculptors and other artists who call Southern California home.
One of the area’s best-known cultural traditions, the Festival of Arts, which accompanies the Pageant of the Masters, isn’t losing any steam as it opens its 83rd season on July 5.
Art-A-Fair and the Sawdust Art Festival, the other Laguna Beach summer traditions, are already in full swing, celebrating 49 years of showcasing hundreds of local artists.
Art-A-Fair, located off Laguna Canyon Road between the other two festivals, displays the art of 125 local artists. Glass, gems, jewelry and  works of art can be purchased at a central check-out area on the grounds. “Guests will have plenty of opportunities to chat with the artists and find out what makes them tick and how they go about creating their art,” said Teri Powers, Art-A-Fair’s vice president of marketing.
July 12 marks the first Art-A-Fair-sponsored live auction of work donated by artists. Proceeds will benefit the Laguna College of Art + Design. The festival is daily through Aug. 30, with live music every Thursday through Sunday. The Sawdust Art Festival also runs through Aug. 30. It features more than 200 local artists, with a diverse array of pieces available for purchase, including paintings, photography, ceramics, sculptures and furniture. Guests can see glassblowers create their wares at a furnace and witness the creation of other types of art firsthand.
Other offerings at Sawdust this summer include a chef’s night every other Tuesday starting July 7, dance lessons on Sunday nights and Hawaiian Surf Day on July 11.
The Sawdust nonprofit organization offers arts and crafts for kids, art classes on Friday and Saturday, and a full entertainment schedule that includes fashion shows,  and an open-mic singer-songwriter series on Wednesday evenings beginning July 8.
“If you’ve ever been to the festival before, you’ll know that our shows are never the same,” says Sawdust marketing coordinator Kelsey Paprocki. “Our grounds are demolished every year and rebuilt, so the artists build their own booths, and that kind of adds this new flair every year.”

Art-A-Fair: 10 a.m.-9 p.m Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closing at 6 p.m. on July 4 and Aug. 30. 777 Laguna Canyon Road. A season pass is $7.50 for adults, $4.50 for seniors and military, children 12 and under are free with an adult. 949.494.4514
:: art-a-fair.com

Sawdust Art Festival: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. 935 Laguna Canyon Road. $8.50 adults, $7 seniors (65+), $4 kids; free for kids 5 and younger; $18 season pass, $24 annual pass. 949.494.3030
:: sawdustartfestivalcom

Festival of Arts: 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. (closing early July 5 and Aug. 29). 650 Laguna Canyon Road. $10 Saturday and Sunday adults and $6 students and seniors, $7 Monday-Friday adults, $4 students and seniors.
:: foapom.com

A season pass for all three events is available for $23 at :: lagunabeachpassport.com

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