Now celebrating 90 years, the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Fine Art Show (lagunafestivalofarts.org) returns to Irvine Bowl Park from July 5 to Sept. 2 with a dynamic slate of activities, workshops and special events. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at how the annual Laguna Beach extravaganza became one of the nation’s top fine art festivals.
Taken in 1947, this photo features the inaugural Junior Art Exhibit at the Festival of Arts. PHOTO COURTESY OF FESTIVAL OF ARTS OF LAGUNA BEACH
“THE FESTIVAL HAS BECOME A CATALYST FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT OF THE ARTS IN OUR COMMUNITY, AS WELL AS A REMINDER OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ARTS TO ALL.” –DAVID PERRY, FESTIVAL OF ARTS PRESIDENT
The amount the Festival of Arts, along with the Foundation, has awarded in college scholarships to date, in the areas of film, performing arts, visual arts and writing
The year the Festival of Arts helped establish the Laguna Beach School of Art, which was later renamed Laguna College of Art and Design and is now an internationally acclaimed art school
The number of hours that former Pageant of the Masters director Glen Eytchison and other staff members battled flames as wildfires spread down the canyons and threatened the festival grounds and the Irvine Bowl in October 1993
The annual attendance at the Festival of Arts, which attracted approximately 2,200 people its first year
The number of awardwinning artists participating in this year’s professionally juried fine art show, which will feature paintings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry and more from artists around Orange County
The cost of a stagecoach ride from El Toro to Laguna Beach in 1900, the year California artist Norman St. Clair traveled from the inland to this coastal hideaway. St. Clair is credited for discovering and being one of the first artists to work in Laguna Beach.
The number of days comprising the second Festival of Arts in 1933. The festival continued every year after except for 1942 to 1945, during World War II, and 2020, during the pandemic.
The number of combined hours contributed each year by around 500 volunteers to put on the festival’s Pageant of the Masters, which brings famous works of art to life through theater
The number of artists who hung their paintings on fences, trees and buildings along Laguna’s main street at the very first Festival of Arts in August of 1932
The price of admission into the second Festival of Arts—which proved to be an enormous success. It’s also the price for the festival’s first tram service, introduced in 1963.