Pageant of the Masters returns to celebrate art after a year-long closure

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Thursday, July 1, 2021
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Laguna Beach's Pageant of the Masters show has been bringing art to life since 1933. Now after a year off due to the pandemic, the Festival of Arts is back.

LAGUNA BEACH -- The Pageant of the Masters has been bringing art to life since 1933 with a cast of 150 volunteer performers who recreate popular sculptures and paintings. This 90-minute show was born during the Great Depression when artists were looking for an entertaining way to advertise their art.

Director Diane Challis said of the volunteer cast, "They dress up every night, get in costume, and headpiece, and makeup, and they pose for 90 seconds."

The 2021 Pageant of the Masters production, Made in America: Trailblazing Artists and Their Stories, will run every night from July 5 through September 3, and feature up to 40 living pictures. The show is part of the Festival of Arts which also features an exhibition of artists who display and sell their work at the festival.

This unique tradition is treasured by many in the Laguna Beach community who are looking forward to returning.

Cheyne Walls is a fine art photographer who sells his work at the Festival of Arts and he said, "Last year was rough for a lot of people, a lot of artists as well. To have my work be showcased, people see it, its gonna be an exciting year to come back from."

Another artist, Vinita Voogd, said, "It'll be fabulous to talk to the patrons and art lovers, and try and do something normal."

The shows cast members are also thankful for the opportunity to perform again. "It was great to see the faces that we havent seen in a year," said volunteer Carl Carter, "And we come back as a team to really put on a performance thats like rock solid for folks to come enjoy."

Tickets for Made in America: Trailblazing Artists and Their Stories are on sale now at