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Chasing Down The Muse: Give back to the art community

August 16, 2012|By Cherril Doty

What a glorious day here in paradise.

A walk along the shore gave me the early morning opportunity to remind myself what a great place this town is. Waves slapped lightly against the sand. Pelicans and gulls were aplenty, and even a pair of arctic terns flew overhead.

As I walked through Heisler Park, I marveled at the beautiful art installations this city has there as well as throughout the town. I stopped near Jon Seeman's sculpture to commune with a young, somewhat befuddled crow that seemed to feel safe there.

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All of this got me to thinking about how much it takes to keep this art community the great example that it is.

Three art festivals, music everywhere, dance, theater, and other arts events abound as well, giving us something for tourists and residents alike. A renowned art school, year-round art classes, art shows, like the phenomenal Art That's Small at City Hall, and more add to the abundance of art and art venues here in Laguna Beach. This town turns on its art.

City staff as well as staff of the various entities is of course essential. Also important, though, are the myriad volunteers and the donations of time, art and money needed to make much of this happen.

A volunteer is one who enters into or offers himself or herself for any services of his or her own free will; one who renders a service…while having no legal interest, duty, or authority with respect to it.

A donation is to give as a gift, present, or grant.

These two words mean so much to this community of art and artists. All year, artists donate their work to various good causes. One such program benefits the artists themselves. I have mentioned before the Sawdust Art Festival's Artist Benevolence Fund, which helps any artist in need in Laguna Beach.

Each year, on the second Sunday of August, an auction is held at the Sawdust Art Festival to benefit this great fund, which helps so many. Sawdust artists donate their work, volunteers donate their time, and for three hours works are auctioned off to refill the coffers of this great fund.

At this past Sunday's annual auction, the fund trustees added a twist — a silent auction segment — in order to speed up the process and get to all the art. As with most undermanned first-time events, it had its glitches. Still, the handful of volunteers really gave it their best. People went away with a lot of great art at great prices, as usual, and the coffers were refilled.

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