YOU WATCH, YOU CREATE: While Laguna Beach's art-o-meter -- that's the meter that tells you how art-inclined a town is, of course -- runs pretty high throughout the year, it absolutely goes off the charts come the summertime. The Festival of the Arts opens in its big, lots-to-see way, and Pageant of the Masters, too, and the galleries are revved up and presenting a caboodle of interesting shows from a variety of creators working in paper, paint, clay, and more. Add to this the long-running, ever-so-charming Sawdust Art Festival, and you have a lot of art, across the art spectrum, to enjoy. But what if you yourself wanted to try your hand at making some good stuff? What if picking up a paintbrush or a pencil was really what you've been longing for, all along? Well, you're in luck: Laguna Beach's art-tastic summer isn't solely about spectators and what they're gazing upon. The Sawdust Art Festival, in fact, offers several classes for those adventuresome, art-loving types who want to pick up skills and make something awesome. There are classes for both the kid set and the grown-ups, too, and they're daily during the festival. Even nicer? "(M)ost classes are complimentary with admission price" though do note that, depending on what you're working with, there may be a materials fee. Classes include pot-throwing, wet chalk creations, wire sculptures, the painting of silk banners, and so many more. How many more? This many more (times and dates are included here, too, so check before you go).
AS FOR THE FEST ITSELF? You aren't obligated to take a class if you merely want to swing by the sawdust-floored, tree-shady happening, which is on daily from June 26 through Aug. 30. There's lots to look at, and buy -- photos, knitwear, ribbon-bedecked barrettes, ceramic mushrooms, and such -- but make time, lots of time, to watch the glassblowers near the center of the festival. Is it hypnotic? Beyond. Could you stand there observing the old art form for most of your visit? This is a fact. You really could. Might you? Of course. The spirit of art is rich in Laguna Beach, and losing yourself for an hour admiring one pursuit is kind of the name of the game.