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Chasing Down The Muse:

Sawdust Festival by the numbers

May 14, 2010|By Cherril Doty

Seems like lately everything is coming up by the numbers.

56 …10 … 89 … 450 … 103 … 24 … 36 … 2 …. Not usually much of a number-oriented person, I am somewhat befuddled by this anomaly. I try to break it down to something I can manage.

Suddenly, I realize that all the numbers floating in my mind have something to do with the summer’s upcoming Sawdust Festival. I am unsure whether this makes things more manageable or more overwhelming, as it seems to be too fast approaching.

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Fifty-six: This is the number of 12” x 32” x 2” panels that Sawdust artists have turned in for the Collectors’ Panels fundraiser at the end of the summer. This fundraiser will benefit the Art Education Fund and go toward many much-needed improvements and new and old programs.

The Sawdust Art Festival has long held that it is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public and promoting the art created in Laguna Beach. In the past few years there has been a concerted push to fully live up to the potential of that statement.

As I write this column I realize that the direction my muse is taking is in just that same vein — to educate the public and promote the art created in Laguna Beach.

The concept for this fundraiser grew out of discussions over the past two years. At the end of the summer festival of 2009, a committee of artists and Sawdust staff began to talk about what we would like to see happen and what end result we sought. With big dreams, we set the number of panels at 100 and decided to ask participating artists to go wild in their imaginings as to how they might utilize these uniformly sized and shaped wood panels.

The committee began setting dates (more numbers!). Pick up the panels by Jan. 13; completed panels due April 30; auction Aug. 22. Ninety-one panels have been taken to work on by artists in a diverse array of media. To date, 56 of the panels have been turned in, with more still in process (you just can’t push the creative spirit too hard!).

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