By Deborah Vietor
You are cordially invited to attend the 10th anniversary of the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival (LJAWF), October 6-7, and the best part? The entire festival, including all of the activities in the children’s sections is free to the public.
Described as one of the most prestigious art and wine festivals in Southern California, there is something for everyone at the LJAWF. Reviving and revolutionizing the tradition of art in the La Jolla community, the LJAWF is a 2-day juried art show and fundraiser. Created as a non-profit 501c3, the event has raised about $1 million over the years for underfunded programs such as art, technology, music and science for local La Jolla schools.
Birdrock Elementary, Torrey Pines Elementary, (which sponsors a Science Day during the festival with hands-on science experiments), La Jolla Elementary School, and Muirlands Middle School are all beneficiaries and will demonstrate Robotics creations along with area award-winning schools.
Created by Festival Founder and local La Jollan Sherry Ahern, the event has grown exponentially under her expertise over the years. She also founded the La Jolla Farmer’s Market and serves the community as a full-time volunteer for many causes near and dear to her.
The LJAWF features over 150 artists from across the U.S. and Mexico. Multiple mediums are available for even the most discriminating of art collectors and includes: painting, sculpture, jewelry design, glass, ceramics, woodwork, mixed media and photography. Each category is judged year with participating artists awarded “Best in Show.” There is an art contest for children from each of the schools represented as well, held in the Geppetto’s Family Art Center + Lab.
Liv Kyle, a third-grade student at La Jolla Elementary is an exceptional artist and cancer survivor, who will be painting live in the Family Art Center + Lab. Her work will be on display and available for purchase, supporting Rady’s Children’s Hospital.
Also in the Family Art Center + Lab, budding artists will be able to create their own innovations; with interactive demos, hands-on experiments and an assortment of arts and crafts for children of all ages.
The 10×10 Exhibition will feature 10 items celebrating 10 years of art making from each of the schools on display. The 10th Birthday Student Showcase will exhibit a time capsule called 10 years forward with items contributed from local schools to be kept and in the future, unearthed from the La Jolla Riford Library.
Kids will be excited to paint a car, learn about 3-D printing, test their gymnastic skills on the gymnastics obstacle course, choose face painting and much more.
Ahern hopes the festival is here for many years to come. She would like to continue to grow the unique wine, beer and spirits garden in addition to increasing revenue for local La Jolla elementary and middle schools.
“Each year we continue to find and launch new and up and upcoming artists. We continue to help our beautiful Jewel and the merchants of La Jolla do well on the Festival weekend,” she says. “[Additionally], without a small group of volunteers, the event would not have been possible.”
In addition to creating much needed revenue for local La Jolla schools, children have benefited in other ways. Funding has enhanced local school programs and through attendance of the LJAWF. Children throughout San Diego County and beyond experience fun through music, dance and creativity.
Among the many on-site artwork being created, urban/beach muralist Carley Ealey will lead a related mural sized collaborative canvas for all festival goers to contribute; painter Chantal Wnuk from Artist & Craftsman, currently exhibiting at MCASD and SDAI will sponsor geometric artmaking, with activities for all ages; publisher Mathew Timmons will offer a related collaborative artmaking experience at the La Jolla Museum of Modern Art (LJMOMA); and visual artist Mieko Anekawa will guide families, creating paper collage at the LJMOMA table as well.
Festivalgoers will also enjoy dancers and street performers. An artist and body painter will draw a picture on your back and transfer to a canvas; chalk artists at stations located at Torrey Pines, Prospect and Girard will create works on 8×8 blackboards that will be offered for auction once completed; a roving playable and paintable piano is available this year. In addition, Art Me & Misfit will be available for crafts and videos.
Other attractions include the Shephard YMCA Firehouse obstacle course, crafting with the Girl Scouts of La Jolla, La Jolla Social painted limo, “the photo booth in a VW Bus”, and face painting, which is always a hit with the kids.
Visit the iconic Wine, Beer and Spirits Garden and sample international wines from locations such as France, Valley de Guadalupe, California and more. Allow libation specialists to take you on a guided tour for your taste buds to some of the world’s finest beverages. Enjoy live music in the garden, where local youth bands including HalfBlood and the 606 will rock out at 2 p.m. each day. The gourmet food court includes many favorites, including Cousins Lobster truck. With all this and more, there really is something for every art and wine lover at LJAWF.
Valet parking is available on Kline and Girard with additional parking at the Bank of America parking structure on Kline and Fay for free. For more information regarding the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival, visit ljawf.com.