La Jolla is returning to its roots once again as an artist’s colony with the fifth annual La Jolla Art & Wine Festival (LJAWF) Oct. 12-13 in the downtown Village.
The free event with a $5 suggested donation will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The works of more than 150 established artists from Southern California and Baja will be highlighted in a juried art show, along with an expansive wine and beer garden featuring 20 premier wineries from around the world, plus a handful of San Diego microbreweries, including Stone Brewing Co. and Ballast Point.
Wineries featured include Francis Ford Coppola, Schlossadler International Wines, La Serenissima, as well as a number of fine wines from Baja’s flourishing Valle de Guadalupe region.
“We have 169 juried artists, many of them local, and it’s an amazing selection, a fine-art show with many media being represented,” said Sherry Ahern, event founder, who created the festival with the support of Friends of La Jolla Elementary Inc. and, more recently, a partnership with the La Jolla Village Merchants Association.
LJAWF artists’ works celebrate numerous media like painting, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, fine glass, woodwork, mixed media and photography. All artists have been handpicked by a highly qualified jury of artists, authors, critics and collectors.
The two-day event is a fundraiser for La Jolla, Bird Rock and Torrey Pines elementary schools, as well as Muirlands Middle School. Last year’s event raised more than $100,000, more than doubling the total amount raised previously since 2009. The proceeds benefit underfunded school programs such as art, music, science, physical education, technology and on-site medical care.
“When we started out, all the experts said we wouldn’t make a nickel or break even until year five, and there’s not been a year yet when we’ve not made money,” said Ahern.
Ahern promised the expanding event will be bigger and better than ever this year.
“We have more things going on in the family art section featuring kids’ art projects. That has grown exponentially,” she said, adding concessions available for the first time this year will include a snow-cone truck and a pizza oven.
Festivities will also include a family scavenger hunt down Girard Avenue with prizes, as well as more high-profile entertainers. Pets will also be permitted this year within the event.
There will be plenty of entertainment for all ages. At Geppetto’s/La Jolla Family YMCA Art Center on Wall Street, children will have the opportunity to paint a car donated by Witt Lincoln, take art or dance classes, participate in games, chalk art, crafts, edible art and cartooning.
Other highlights include an exciting lineup of live music, as well as roving entertainment by the San Diego Circus Center, which teaches Cirque du Soleil-inspired performances to children and young adults.
A Gourmet Marketplace will be situated off Silverado Street and offers guests an eclectic taste, featuring many of San Diego’s finest boutique eateries, including local favorite Puesto Mexican Street Food.
Additionally, LJAWF will give guests the opportunity to partake in a silent auction offering an assortment of hot-ticket items like iPads, two-night hotel stays, gift cards to fine-dining rest-aurants all over San Diego, staycation activities for children, theater tickets, winery and brewery packages, as well as LJAWF participating artist artwork.
What makes LJAWF so special?
“Two words: La Jolla,” said Ahern, who encouraged festival guests to stay at local lodging, eat and shop in the community’s renowned boutique downtown Village and visit local landmarks like La Jolla Cove and Ellen Browning Scripps Park.