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NEWS
July 25, 2003
AT THE GALLERIES Art festivals are sometimes more "festival" than "art." You pay your admission at the gate, spend about an hour walking past booths of mediocrity peppered with the inevitable handmade ceramic coffee mugs, and go home feeling cheated somehow. However, I always make a point of braving the crowds to attend Sawdust, because I know that at some point I'll come across something wonderful. What follows are a few highlights from this year's offerings.
NEWS
June 27, 2003
LAGUNA LIFE Everyday I thank my lucky stars that I live here in this town. I live it, love it, breath it and pray for it. I appreciate it and care for it; not only for our town but more importantly for the people. We are family here. I can look out my window and see the treasures of life all within my arms reach. The sun, the ocean and that beautiful blue sky. This is who I am. Where else in the world can you go to a place like the opening night of the Sawdust and hangout with generations of people who went to the same high school?
NEWS
August 22, 2003
DINING OUT There are only 10 days remaining of the summer festivals, so let's get with it at The Sawdust before the lively entertainment ends, because it's party time under the stars every night until Aug. 31. Among lively bands for the listening and dancing pleasure at the al fresco cabaret up front, are the Friday night performances of the Peter Dobson Trio. With talented Sue Cross on bass, melodic Michael J. on drums and inimitable guitarist / vocalist Peter setting the entrancing pace, some memorable moments await.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Candice Baker | April 4, 2008
The full circle of the artist’s career will be on view soon. Those with artistic — and voyeuristic — intentions will be able to enter the private studios of a variety of Laguna’s artists April 12, at the next Sawdust Art Festival Art Studio Tour. Artists on the tour range from up-and-comers to longtime presences in town. This year, the tour coordinators are offering the choice of morning, afternoon and full-day tours, which include guided transportation.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Brittany Woolsey | September 20, 2012
John Genesta doesn't consider himself a victim. After an accident at the Sawdust Art Festival rendered him helpless, Genesta seems positive. "You have to take life as it comes and hope for the best," he said over the phone Wednesday. One fact has greatly touched him: the overwhelming support of the community, who will once again come together for a benefit concert Friday to aid Genesta, a Laguna Beach resident of 35 years, and his family with high medical expenses. In June, while building his booth for the festival, Genesta fell off a ladder.
NEWS
August 22, 2003
Suzie Harrison The fires in 1993 and the floods in '98 are two of the hardships that Laguna residents have had to endure in recent times. Some lost everything, including artists on Canyon Acres whose studios and homes burned down to nothing but ash. While dealing with such unimaginable catastrophes, the artists got some reprieve thanks to the Sawdust Art Festival's Benevolence Fund, an organization that assists artists in times of dire need. On Sunday starting at noon, the Sawdust will host its 17th annual Art Auction, with all proceeds going toward this fund.
NEWS
By Dan Beighley | May 26, 2006
Markus Miller, a former Sawdust exhibitor who was found dead in April in a vacant lot, was remembered last week by friends as a "gentle soul" who never had a bad thing to say about anyone. Thirty gathered last Thursday for a memorial in Heisler Park. Miller, 57, was found dead by police April 27 in a lot used as a transient camp in the 700 block of South Coast Highway. Laguna Police Capt. Danell Adams said Miller's death appears to be from natural causes, though a coroner's report is pending.
NEWS
By Cindy Frazier | August 25, 2011
Glass is a mysterious substance. I never realized how interesting it was until I took a class in fused glass from Maggie Spencer, a Sawdust artist. Glass, as Maggie explained to our small "Girls Night Out" class, is neither liquid nor solid. It's "amorphous," or formless. Yet glass is one of the most common substances in our lives. If you look around, you'll see at least two to three, or more, forms of glass on your wall, on your desk, on your kitchen table. It's not "formless" at all; it's able to take many forms.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Candice Baker | March 30, 2007
Participants in the Sawdust Art Festival's Spring Into Art last weekend came home with a lot more than new techniques. Some of us developed a bit more self confidence. Others discovered a latent talent, made a new friend or conquered a longtime fear. I came home with a marvelous painting. Only I didn't paint it. The two-day workshops are available in glass blowing, silk painting and everything in between, and are taught by experienced Sawdust exhibitors. With scrumptious light breakfasts and a full catered lunch by exhibitor and caterer Debra Covern's Thalia Street Catering, the workshops are equal parts foodie paradise and aesthete escape.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By David Hansen and By David Hansen | April 3, 2014
The night before his Blue Water Music Festival last weekend, organizer Rick Conkey slept on an air mattress on the festival grounds, making sure no one stole the equipment. At 6 foot 5, his feet hung over the edge of the mattress. But he didn't care. He had other things to worry about. Would people show up? Will he have enough cash to pay the bands? Will he be able to show his face again in Laguna? He worried but he didn't let it show. By midday Saturday, people started arriving - not a lot, but some.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Don Leach | April 3, 2014
The Blue Water Music Festival, hosted by Rick Conkey and his nonprofit Blue Water Green Earth, returned to Laguna Beach last weekend at the Sawdust Art Festival grounds under the shade of the tall eucalyptus grove. The two-day event featured a variety of acts in several musical genres playing an even wider variety of instruments. As with all music festivals, there were the expected headliners, but it was the discoveries on the outer stages that made it so fun. The acts given the tiny tavern stage were small in space but big on talent Saturday.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rhea Mahbubani | November 21, 2013
For the Garrard family, Christmas lasts all year long. Things have been this way since late 2010, when Italia turned to her parents with sadness etched on her face. She didn't want the colorful lights and presents to be boxed up and tucked away, she said, mournful in a way that perhaps only a 4-year-old can be about the conclusion of holiday festivities. And so, Angelica and LaMoin began mulling over how to prolong the day and its inherent spirit. They cut out a small part of the Christmas tree trunk and decided to join their children in painting it. Seated around the dining table, the Glendora family derived so much pleasure from the shared activity that they kept at it. Their efforts took the shape of ornaments that were distributed to friends and family, who, in turn, suggested they sell them.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Miller | September 19, 2013
Robert Holton had the desire to be an exhibitor at the Sawdust Art Festival. He had years of experience as an artist. He had connections in the industry. There was only one problem: Holton lived in Anaheim, and Sawdust rules require that participants live in Laguna Beach for two years. Problem solved. Holton, who runs a sign-making business and takes commissions through his side company, Drizzle Pop Art, signed a lease a month ago for a tiny apartment off Pacific Coast Highway.
NEWS
By Michael Miller | August 1, 2013
The sculpting table that Ora Sterling oversees at the Sawdust Art Festival features an abundance of riches - artistic riches, that is, not the monetary kind. But some of the tools the kids use to shape their clay masks might indicate otherwise. "I've collected credit cards for 20 years, just to use in clay," the veteran Sawdust artist explained Tuesday as a dozen or so teenagers wielded cards along with meat skewers, sponges and other implements of creation. Step into the raised patio where Sterling holds her summer art class, and that anything-goes vibe pervades everything from the tools to the sample artworks to the inspirational props.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 18, 2013
The Sawdust Art Festival, in its 47th year, will host its sixth annual Green Day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The day's activities, hosted by artists, staff and local organizations, provide insight on environmental awareness and are free with admission to the grounds. Guests will be treated to a Laguna Beach Garden Club Garden Exchange from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., information about bee colonies from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., opportunities to participate in a Wyland Foundation Ocean Conservation Mural between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., a Green Model Drawing session from 1 to 3 p.m. and more.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rhea Mahbubani | June 26, 2013
Nikki Grant never imagined being able to make a living as an artist. That changed in 1966, though, when the jewelry designer joined a cluster of Laguna Beach artists who either didn't make it into the Festival of Arts or objected to its jury system. All free spirits, they didn't take kindly to rules or politics, she said. And the Sawdust Art Festival was born. "Initially, it was an experiment, but it just kept going and going and going," said Grant, who hasn't missed a single show in the festival's 47-year history.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rhea Mahbubani | November 15, 2012
Deeply humbled by the impact of his craft on people of all ages, Star Shields has contributed to the Sawdust Art Festival for 29 years. The Laguna Beach-based face and body artist counts Led Zeppelin, Paul and Linda McCartney, Deep Purple and Bob Dylan among those who have donned his brightly hued, airbrushed outfits. "After I painted stage clothing for Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant came to visit my infamous 'flying saucer booth' incognito in a rickshaw," Shields recalled. "This festival has helped me grow as a creative artist, allowing me to share my skills everywhere I paint.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Brittany Woolsey | September 20, 2012
John Genesta doesn't consider himself a victim. After an accident at the Sawdust Art Festival rendered him helpless, Genesta seems positive. "You have to take life as it comes and hope for the best," he said over the phone Wednesday. One fact has greatly touched him: the overwhelming support of the community, who will once again come together for a benefit concert Friday to aid Genesta, a Laguna Beach resident of 35 years, and his family with high medical expenses. In June, while building his booth for the festival, Genesta fell off a ladder.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Joanna Clay | August 31, 2012
Sawdust Art Festival artist Linda Pirri remembers one of the first times she came to Laguna Beach. She was 18 years old, studying art and told herself if she ever was going to pursue her art, she would do it here. More than 20 years later, at 40, she did just that. She left a successful career in Los Angeles in real estate to devote her life to her art in the historic arts colony. Pirri, now 59, has been at the festival 15 years. This year will be her last for a while, she said, because she's moving to the Kohala Coast in Hawaii with her husband this week.
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