Laguna’s Very Artsy Hoedown

The famous Sawdust that draws thousands keeps it fresh, and down-to-earth, every year.

Sawdust Art Festival has been happening for so many years (count ’em, 49) that you’d think the organizers and artists of Laguna’s summer-long event would, perhaps, phone it in. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Right? Not so much.

Each year, there’s sure to be something different within the 200 exhibits that come from only local artists. It ranges from funky to folksy to modern. A few examples that this is not your regular art festival?

John Lucero’s Technicolor, glow-in-the-dark paintings. They come to life only with the proper gear: a pair of 3-D glasses and no inhibitions—you’ll need to stick your head in a dark box fitted with a black light.

John Lucero 3D art
Clothes-making as a spectator sport. Master tailors take to the stage and work the needles. Better than watching baseball. Toward the end of the two-month festival’s run, the stage-made clothing is catwalked for two fashion shows.

Fashion show artist Lance.M_S2014

A fresh-air “gallery.” Nature is the bigger canvas—so to speak—at Sawdust. The art is displayed within a three-acre eucalyptus grove, complete with a 50-or-so-foot waterfall that is drought-friendly, using recycled water. En plein air, to the max.


A village constructed by artists. Each year, the artists build Sawdust’s village-like set from the ground up, adding unique flourishes. At the end of the two months, it comes down.

Glass blowing
Sawdust guitar
Hawaiian Day 2

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