Laguna Beach – Pageant of the Masters – 2014

Festival of the Arts – Pageant of the Masters – Laguna Beach 2014

If you’ve ever been to this Festival of the Arts in Laguna Beach you would never mistake it for anything else that resembles a celebration of the arts. For 82 long years, a singular distinguishing feature, this organization of true arts patrons has eventuated their passions into what is now a small fair grounds of exhibits that includes the entire range of visual arts…paintings, sculptures, wood works, etc. This has been going on for 82 years with a staff that is a mixture of permanent employees and volunteers all of whom have a sense of how important and rare this festival is. It happens all summer and has several ballet and orchestra performances all at a very high level of quality and comprised of local talent and performers. This is a true community of the arts.

The festival is full of artworks that resemble the work of Henry Moore and Picasso and all manner of personal touches of art in between. And all of these are the works of local, living, practicing artists here and now on display. The hands and eyes that created this work could well be standing there chatting with you about the materials that went into this collage. This is the thing that distinguishes this collection of art from another. I’ve been to a few art galleries in my time: the Guggenheim in New York City, the Louvre in Paris, the Sistine chapel in Rome, and the Van Gough in Amsterdam. The difference is obvious…and it’s a striking difference as you walk from one little booth to another. You’re looking at the work of living artists continuing to create. And I for one don’t know of anything similar to this anywhere. To my surprise, I found out that there, in fact, is this big thriving community if artists in Laguna Beach…just a short drive from where I lived and worked and recorded for the last 45 years. How did I miss this?

It’s amazing to arrive at the musical performing venue and see a permanent concrete archway with “Festival of the Arts” and “Pageant of the masters” carved into it. We walked through the gates for sound check, mid afternoon, and pow…there we are…right in the middle of it. A stage with booths all around it in walking distance from each other making a semi circle that’s starts on the end of the stage at either side and comes together around 200 feet straight ahead in the back. It’s amazing!

As you may have guessed by now, I’ve been touched and impressed and excited by this whole situation here of this fabulous beach community, both a travel log picturesque as a vacation site but at the same time residential and homey. That’s a great combination. Great timing! I needed this boost. We rode the wave of the Laguna Beach afternoon sun and sea and arts festival and had a really wonderful first time occasion with lots of promises to return.

Ok. Nuff said. The band was wonderful and on fire and we all looked forward to closing out the spring and summer semesters the next night in Temecula. Man o man where does the time go!

See ya…in Temecula,


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