Laguna Beach arts festivals go virtual for summer

FOAVirtual offers the opportunity to explore the artwork of festival exhibitors in a technologically innovative 3D virtual gallery. | Courtesy Festival of the Arts
By Justine Amodeo

The summer arts festivals may be canceled for the summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore your favorite artists virtually.

The Market at Laguna Art-A-Fair is an online shop selling exhibitors’ artwork transferred onto print-on-demand products such as pillows, tote bags, unisex T-shirts and sweatshirts, mugs, metal prints, framed prints and gallery wraps. Original art is also for sale online: With Art-A-Fair artists working in their studios, most are offering online shopping through their personal websites. Look for the “Shop Virtually With Me” star for participating artists on the Exhibitors page. Many artists are also available to host private studio tours and offer curbside pick-up or delivery.

The Sawdust Art & Craft Festival, which was scheduled to open on a limited basis in late July, has now been postponed indefinitely, but the Sawdust Virtual Experience offers artists’ work for sale online. To help support exhibitors, you can also sponsor a wheelbarrow of sawdust to benefit the new Sawdust Artist Fund, which helps artists affected by the financial impact of COVID-19. It takes 130,680 square feet of wood chips and sawdust to cover the Sawdust Festival grounds each year. When you sponsor a wheelbarrow of sawdust, 100% of the donation goes toward the fund.

The Festival of the Arts Fine Art Show has also introduced an online experience: FoaVirtual offers the opportunity to explore the artwork of festival exhibitors in a technologically innovative 3D virtual gallery from the comfort of your home. There are nine different galleries featuring 123 artists whose work is available for purchase. Visitors are encouraged to self-navigate around the gallery or take a guided art tour and read the artists’ bios. A quick overview of all the pieces in the gallery is available by clicking on the digital catalog. “We are already planning future updates, surprises and user engagement opportunities throughout the summer in conjunction with foaVirtual,” says Marketing and PR Director Sharbie Higuchi. “We hope everyone will come back often, visit our virtual galleries and discover what’s new.”

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