America’s Best Art Festival

Laguna Beach is known as an art destination of the world and for good reason. I enjoy art, but it isn’t something that typically excites me, so when I first moved to Orange County, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the art festivals or what to expect by Pageant of the Masters—a unique production that re-create famous works of art with humans, but it was one of my favorite experiences, art or non-art related.

The Festival of Arts Fine Art Show will celebrate its 87th year starting on July 5 through August 31, 2019 in Laguna Beach, California. Live music, hands-on art activities, exhibitions of local student artwork and a wide variety of special events round out one of Southern California’s favorite outdoor summer festivals.

The Festival has been rated one of the top festivals in the nation and each year hosts 140 of Orange County’s most talented artists. Recent accolades include Orange County Register’s Best Place to Buy Original Art, Art Fair Calendar’s Top Five Art Fairs in the West and Top 5 Art Festival in the nation voted by USA Today readers.

“Avid art collectors and festival-goers will have an outstanding variety of fine art to browse and purchase as they walk among the artists displays,” says Marketing and Public Relations Director Sharbie Higuchi.

The Festival of Arts is a professionally juried fine art show featuring a diverse selection of artwork including paintings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry, and more from artists around Orange County. Since opening in 1932, thousands have shown and sold their artwork at the Festival and many have their work featured in the private collections of leading art collectors, celebrities, and museums around the world.

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In addition to the variety of artwork, the Festival of Arts offers a wide range of daily activities that the whole family can enjoy. The calendar includes nightly live music, guided art tours, art workshops and weekly series including Concerts on the Green (sponsored by Cambria Estates Vineyard and Winery) and Art, Jazz, Wine, and Chocolate (sponsored by Charles Schwab). Several special one-day events will return this year, including the very popular Festival Runway Fashion Show and Family Art Day.

Fascinating and informative discussions with the Festival of Arts exhibitors will be held every Wednesday during Art Talks and Tea (sponsored by PBS SoCal). For families, Art and Story Time is a weekly series for children 5 and under. Every Monday will feature a different children’s book read aloud and a hands-on art project, along with special surprise visits from illustrators, book characters and more. Back by popular demand, weekly music series Tribute Tuesdays and Step into the Spotlight (sponsored by Viking Cruises) on Friday nights will return to the Festival of Arts entertainment line-up for 2019.

“Looking back at the original Festival of Arts in 1932, there was something for everyone to enjoy. That tradition continues today,” said Higuchi. “With beautiful art, nightly live music, workshops for all ages, and unique events, the Festival is truly a full arts experience.”

If you’re planning a trip soon, you can see any of the special events and shows below.

Special Events

  • Art and Story Time
    Mondays, July 8 – Aug 26, 12:30pm
  • Tribute Tuesdays Music Series
    Tuesdays, July 9 – Aug 27, 5:30pm
  • Art Talks and Tea
    Wednesdays, July 17 – Aug 28, 1pm
    Sponsored by PBS SoCal
  • Portraits on the Green
    Thursdays, July 11 – Aug 29, 1pm
  • Art, Jazz, Wine and Chocolate
    Thursdays, July 11 – Aug 29, 5:30pm
  • Art and Yoga with Lululemon
    Fridays, July 12 – Aug 30, 1pm
  • Step into the Spotlight Music Series
    Fridays, July 12 – Aug 30, 5:30pm
    Sponsored by Viking Cruises
  • Concerts on the Green
    Saturdays, July 13 – Aug 31 (excl Aug 24), 1pm
    Sponsored by Cambria Estates Winery
  • Family Art Day
    Sunday, July 14, 12pm
  • Festival Runway Fashion Show
    Sunday, Aug 18, 12pm 
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Art Workshops for Everyone

  • Creativity runs wild at the Festival’s Adult and Teen Art Classes where students will make their own masterpieces under the instruction of professional artists. ($60)
  • Uncork your creativity Friday nights at Pints, Pinots and Prints or Saturday nights at Wine and Painting Nights. Create a work of art with easy to follow instruction by Festival artists and enjoy complimentary wine or beverages. Must be 21 and up. ($75)
  • Monday through Friday, the Festival hosts Youth Art Classes, art classes for children ages 5 to 12. Classes include sculpture, printmaking, drawing, and much more. ($20+)
  • Printmaking, ceramics ($25+) and multimedia workshops will be open daily for visitors of all ages to stretch creative muscles. The Festival Art Center will be open weekdays from 12noon to 8:30pm and weekends from 10am to 8:30pm for hands-on artistic fun. Reservations not required, drop in anytime!

ART TOURS

Free art tours are held weekdays at 2pm and 4:30pm and weekends at 11am and 4:30pm. Meet the artists and learn firsthand about their techniques through discussions and artist demos.

SPECIAL EXHIBITS

  • The Festival’s Junior Art Exhibition, sponsored in part by California First National Bank and Mark Porterfield of Laguna Beach, will be comprised of over 300 pieces of artwork from Orange County school children (grades PK to 12). The quality of art represented in the exhibit will astound art lovers of all ages.
  • Support the arts by purchasing artwork from the Art-to-Go Exhibit donated by Festival artists with proceeds benefiting The Artist Fund at Festival of Arts.
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DINING OPTIONS / GIFT SHOP

  • Terra Laguna Beach is the on-property dining destination and focuses on California cuisine with sustainable food practices and utilizes farm stand fresh ingredients and artfully crafted meals. For reservations, call (949) 494-9650.
  • Intermission by Terra is the new grab-to-go concession to purchase food to enjoy on the Festival grounds.
  • The Festival of Arts boutique-style gift shop is the perfect place to find t-shirts, art books, posters, tote bags and many other items to remember your visit.

For more information, go to LagunaFestivalofArts.org.

The Festival of Arts is sponsored in part by Southern California Acura Dealers, Fidelity Investments, KOST Radio 103.5, San Diego County Credit Union, and The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.