Located on the San Francisco Bay shoreline, Sausalito seems to be the place where the best American and International artists bring their skills and perspectives. About 20,000 original works of traditional and contemporary art are displayed annually at the Sausalito Art Festival, including ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, fine glass, fiber art, woodwork, photography and painting. Considered the finest Festival of the Arts, the Sausalito Art Festival features collections of museum value and quality.
The jury of professional artists selects the best 270 out of 1,200 talented applicants, who exhibit in the festival from all over the world. Each artist competes for the Artists Awards, with cash prizes totaling $17,000. The festival has long ago found its supporters among people with a passion for the world of art as it is represented in Sausalito.
Since the foundation of the festival in 1952, more than one million collectors from throughout the world have visited the Sausalito Art Festival. The Sausalito Art Festival differs from the majority of museums and galleries, since the visitors have a splendid opportunity to meet with artists privately.
The festival itself is located in Marineship Park, the center for 50,000 fans gathering every Labor Day to experience this museum-quality exhibition. The highlights of the festival include three-stage entertainment, a majestic sculpture garden, activities for children, gourmet food and the best wines from fifty wineries of California. Overnight visitors are offered five hotels with a special brand of hospitality and charm. There are a large number of first-class restaurants, many of which have received national awards.
Throughout its long history, the Sausalito Art Festival has had a number of producers, including the Sausalito Artists and Merchants Association, the Sausalito Woman's Club, the Sausalito Art Association, the City of Sausalito, the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce and the Sausalito Art Festival Foundation. The latter was established to by the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce to manage this popular event. Since its foundation, the festival has been considered the most magnificent of Outdoor Fine Art Festivals.
Under the management of the Chamber of Congress, the festival experienced its greatest growth and gained the recognition as the most prestigious festival of the fine arts in the United States. Established by a group of community volunteers and artists, the Sausalito Art Festival is a nonprofit organization, comprised of 270 top juried artists and more than 1,000 volunteers.
In 1995 the Sausalito Art Festival Arts Education Scholarship Fund was established, which sees its mission in providing education in the arts. The main objective of the festival today is to support nonprofit organizations through scholarships, community service programs, grant programs and artists awards. The Fourth Annual Sausalito Art Festival Scholarship Competition was held in July 2005 granting four scholarships of $2,500.
In 2006 the Sausalito Art Festival will mark its 54th anniversary.