Posted by: Mary | July 15, 2010

California Missions and a Living Art Pageant

    

In early July, a friend and I took a long weekend and made a road trip to Southern California to see the Pageant of the Masters. We planned a stop overnight in San Luis Obispo with a visit to their Thursday night farmer’s market and had tickets for the Pageant on Friday evening. Saturday was free to visit another Mission and the Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach, and Sunday was our long drive back.

Part way into the drive, I saw a sign for Mission San Miguel and suggested a stop there to stretch our legs. This turned into a “thing” for us and we ended up seeing a total of eight of the California Missions on this trip, including San Juan Capistrano, which is something I have always wanted to see.  It had some of the most beautiful mission grounds! Due to our Pageant tickets, we didn’t have time to go inside a few of the missions, but we wandered the grounds of all but Buenaventura because we would’ve been late for the Pageant due to traffic.

The Pageant of the Masters features artwork recreated by using live people in paint and background scenery. It is lit so that the “painting” looks flat and the sculptures look like porcelain, metal or whatever the medium is supposed to replicate. It was very well done and hard to tell that these were actually live people and not paintings.  It’s held in an outdoor amphitheatre in a canyon and is a wonderful setting to see a performance.  There are also a number of artists displaying their work (available for purchase) outside the Pageant performance.

It gets cool in the evenings in the canyon, so bringing a jacket and a blanket (for your legs) is a must and binoculars also came in handy, as our seats were about three-quarters of the way back.  I think having seats farther away was actually beneficial because it made it even harder to tell that there were live people making up the paintings and sculptures.

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