A sensational preview night at the Sawdust: exhibitors and attendees alike sing its praises

Compiled by LYNETTE BRASFIELD

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Preview night at the Sawdust drew the usual ebullient crowd and the electricity in the air was palpable. Here’s how some of the exhibitors express how it felt to be part of this amazing festival.

a sensational kyle

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First-time exhibitor Kyle Caris

“Preview night was incredible, I was elated with the amazing support I received from all of my family, friends and the guests attending the show. I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face all night knowing my work was being well received. The Sawdust Art Festival is truly a magical place. I fell in love with the atmosphere and the art at a very early age and even worked my first jobs there. 

“Having a booth for the first time has been a lifelong dream, it was a lot of work but I have never been happier. I grew up in Laguna Beach and started ceramics at the age of sixteen studying under Bill Darnall. After high school I went on to study at Orange Coast College where I really began to understand my material and the balance between form and glaze. I have been drawn to natural earthy colors giving my work a rustic feel. In the spring I will be attending the Kansas Coty Art Institute.”

--Kyle Caris, Ceramics

Veteran fifteen-year-exhibitor Monica Prado – who is also the Board of Directors’ Secretary and President of the Artists Benevolence Fund Board of Trustees – told Stu News, “Preview Night brings a huge boost of enthusiasm and energy, and also a wonderful sense of accomplishment for our tribe of artists and staff. 

“Typically, it’s not a night for big sales, it’s about celebrating with your community, so you can imagine my surprise when I experienced both!”

a sensational monica

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Striking art by Monica: See “Moroccan Moon” – sold on Preview night!

Indeed, Monica’s “Moroccan Moon”, five foot two inches tall, made entirely from ceramic shapes and tiles delicately crafted by the artist herself, was snapped up that evening, along with other of her pieces…which suggests a great summer ahead!

Another first-time exhibitor (who has in past years exhibited at the Festival of Arts), Brenda Bredvik, had this to say: “My first Opening Night at the Sawdust festival was awesome! All the artists must arrive early which is actually a fun little pre-party. The band started warming up so we had a chance to enjoy them before heading to our booths. Everyone greets or introduces themselves and wishes each other a successful summer. It was such an inclusive family atmosphere – even though there are many artists I don’t know they have all been so warm and friendly!

“And of course when the gates open the whole town comes by to say hi! It’s such a Laguna thing.”

a sensational brenda

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Since she’s showing some photos with a vintage look, Brenda thought (correctly) that a retro ‘60s outfit would be fun for Preview Night

And then, of course, there were the attendees, who had a raucously good time…

a sensational laura

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Laura Westland and friends are ready to party as they wait for the gates to open!

a sensational group

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Party time at the Preview!