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Best Upcoming Art Competitions In Orange County

Orange County harbors artists that portray the culture and society in their work. With these upcoming competitions in Orange County ranging from film to artwork, we can gain a glimpse into some of these great minds.

Newport Beach Film Festival
4540 Campus Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 253-2880

Submission Deadline: Click here to see submission deadlines.
Festival Dates: April 25 - May 2, 2013

For local filmmakers, the Newport Beach Film Festival brings the best of classic and contemporary feature and short films from around the world. With the goal being to bring cultural understanding and enriching educational opportunities, the festival features both studio and independent films for all to enjoy. All ages and backgrounds are encouraged to participated and submit films. For those that submit, your film goes through a selection process and will be reviewed at least five times before it is accepted into the festival. The festival for 2013 will take place this spring. More information regarding the varied deadlines and guidelines for submission is available on the main website.

RelatedBest Art Fairs In Orange County

"Icons of Orange County"
Tangata Restaurant at Bowers Museum
2002 N. Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92706
(714) 567-3600

Exhibition Dates: September 29, 2012 - January 11, 2013

The Tangata Restaurant, located at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, closed its calling for entries for the "Icons of Orange County" exhibit in late August. See who has the talent to be accepted for this exhibit. The exhibition will feature art that captures iconic sites and locations in Orange County that include, but are not limited to, beach destinations like The Wedge, the pier and surfers at Huntington Beach, Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach, Mission San Juan Capistrano and even the Crystal Cove State Park. Paintings can span the mediums of oil, watercolor, pastel and acrylic. The California Arts Council Signature Artist and President Peter Adams will jury the exhibition along with fellow Bowers CAC representatives.

44th Annual Watercolor West Juried Exhibition
The Brea Civic and Cultural Center
1 Civic Center Circle
Brea, CA 92821
(714) 990-7730

Show Dates: October 13 - December 16, 2012

A group of southern California painters came together in 1967 to form a society called the Watercolor West with efforts of promoting and exhibiting transparent watercolor. Hosts for the national competition and exhibition have previously been held at the Riverside Art Museum, the San Bernadino County Museum and Glendale's Brand Library and Art Center. The deadline for submissions has already passed but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the work of those who made the cut. This year it will be held at the Brea Culture Center Gallery. This event will be open to the public so come and enjoy the selected artists by the jury.

Related: Orange County's Best Summer Art Exhibits

14th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational
Laguna Art Museum
307 Cliff Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-8971

Invitational Dates: October 14 - October 21, 2012

The Laguna Art Museum, in collaboration with the Laguna Beach Plein Air Painters Association, will hold its 14th annual invitation in mid-October which entails a week-long landscape painting festival focusing on the community, environment and art education. Over 40 of the nation's top plein air landscape painters will gather together in Laguna Beach and compete for the prestigious prizes during the festivities. The events held include public paint outs, environmental awareness activities and much more. Many of the events during the week are open and free to the public except for the fine-arts lectures and presentation on October 14 and 15. Tickets can be purchased on the website.

Sawdust Festival Winter Fantasy

935 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-3030

Festival Dates: November 17 - December 9, 2012

The Sawdust Winter Fantasy will feature more than 170 exhibitors on festival grounds that are transformed into a winter wonderland. This festival is a great place to find one-of-a-kind work that ranges from jewelry, clothing, fused and blown glass, ceramics, woodwork, forged metals, painting, sculpture and much more. The Winter Fantasy Festival is open weekends only and the full schedule is available on the website along with admission rates. This year, the 11th Annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place with Mayor Toni Iseman and will also include community group musical performances, holiday refreshments and photo ops with artists. Laguna Beach residents will be admitted for free with proper identification after 3 p.m. on that day.

Elle Toussi is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. Her work can be found on

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