The Festival of Arts is an art institution dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting artwork significant to the Festival’s and Laguna Beach’s rich cultural history. The Festival of Arts Permanent Art Collection includes over 500 works. In 1991, the Collection was significantly enhanced by the donation of the Lorna Mills – Great American Bank Collection of early Laguna Paintings. In 2004, the entire photographic collection of exhibitor Stillman Sawyer was given, as a bequest, by the Sawyer Trust to the Collection along with curatorial funds to support this donation and seed funding for the Stillman F. Sawyer Photographic Learning Center. The Collection continues to grow, with artwork acquired through purchases, bequests and donations.
The Festival’s Collection along with historical documents are housed at foaNORTH. The Festival is currently establishing a conservation and maintenance program, enabling the Festival’s Art Collection to reach a stabilized and maintained level of conservation: for publication and exhibit. Selected works from the Permanent Art Collection are presented in themed exhibits at foaSOUTH and loaned out to museums and institutions for specific exhibitions that advance cultural history and understanding.
Through its innovative exhibitions and programs, the Festival of Arts seeks to promote and inspire creative excellence, and deepen an understanding of the visual arts.