Laguna Beach – Ideal Incentive Destination
Nestled midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, sits the eclectic seaside art colony of Laguna Beach. This charming haven of fine art galleries, trendy boutiques and superb restaurants combines quiet sophistication with beach town casual.
Laguna truly offers something for everyone. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy ocean kayaking, canyon hikes, coastal biking, surfing, skim boarding, beach runs, or, just to the south – fishing, sailing, and even whale watching excursions.
Art lovers will have plenty of galleries to visit, from traditional fine art and contemporary art, to California art, wildlife art, Indian pottery, sculpture, fine art photography, and paintings including a vast collection of Plein Air paintings. Along with the galleries is the crowning jewel and the production that helped establish Laguna Beach as a thriving art community, the world-renowned Pageant of the Masters.
Laguna Beach – Pageant of the Masters
Held in Laguna Canyon’s outdoor amphitheater, the Pageant is a stage show of “living pictures” in which classical and contemporary works of art are recreated with real people posing to look exactly like the painted images of the original pieces.
The Pageant began as a way to attract much needed business to the area after the economic downturn from the Great Depression. In the 1900’s, artists flourished to the village supporting themselves through art sales to vacationing tourists and Laguna Beach soon gained the reputation as an art colony.
However, when the Great Depression hit, and the economy began to dry up, people had little money to spend on vacations and Laguna’s artists and local businesses struggled. In an effort to entice visitors and ultimately bring business back to the art colony, the idea of a summer art festival was born. The first festival was held the week following the1932 Los Angeles Olympics in hopes that visitors would visit Laguna Beach before heading home.
The biggest draw at the festival was the Living Pictures show created by artist and vaudevillian Lolita Perine. She dressed local residents in costume and seated them behind a makeshift frame. The paintings literally came to life fascinating viewers and beginning the now famous and perhaps the most unique production in the world, the Pageant of the Masters.
If those aren’t enough reasons to get a group excited about visiting Laguna Beach, perhaps the near perfect balance of quiet serenity and playful activity will be. One visit here and you are certain to be awed by nature’s spirit inviting you to relax and enjoy the inherent beauty of this picturesque seaside community.