The Jewel Of San Diego

By Deborah Vietor

For a cornucopia of aesthetic and epicurean delights, experience the 11th annual La Jolla Art and Wine Festival Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free to the public, this spectacular annual 2-day juried art event features works from over 160 local and international artists in a multitude of categories.

Back to back artists line Girard Avenue from Torrey Pines Road to Prospect, each with their own unique appeal. Not limited to the art connoisseur, the festival boasts an array of exquisite creations, yet there is truly something for everyone. Music fills the air, with sounds comprised of talented musicians. Experience a unique destination uniting foodies, with gourmet options as well. The iconic wine and beer garden highlights over 40 international wineries, local craft breweries, and craft distilleries.

Geppetto’s Family Art Center on Wall Street offers multiple activities for families and young artists, allowing them to explore their creativity and imagination. Exhibitions such as chalk art displays, synergistic murals, roving entertainment, face painting and interactive art are available, with more activities added each year, enhancing community involvement. Ample parking is available throughout the festival. The valet is located on Kline and Girard and a free parking structure is located on Kline and Fay Avenue (behind BofA).

“The La Jolla Art and Wine Festival has something to offer people of all ages, 165 fine artists, a silent auction, great food, a wine, beer and spirit garden and a street dedicated to families and great entertainment, all in support of the local public schools. This is what is special to me,” Sherry Ahern, Founder of the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival said.

Ahern founded the festival 11 years ago and is still chairing the event today. She credits the success of the event to dozens of talented volunteers and the attendees that continue to come each year.

“The La Jolla Art and Wine festival is a wonderful example of the spirit of La Jolla and all that this community has to offer! I am so happy to be a part of an organization that is dedicated to keeping art and creativity alive in the public-school system,” Brenda Chand, Executive and Artistic Director of the LJAWF said.

L’CHAIM sat down with a few artists showcasing their work at the event this year to talk about their art and why the festival holds a special place in their hearts.

Involved in the festival since 2014, Surfboard artist Carolyn Johnson, at booths #351/352, will be offering one of her surfboards at the silent auction, as her art resonates with the coastal community. Her high gloss technique makes her unique blend of acrylics and metallics dance in the light.

Johnson shared that “La Jolla Daydream” is a real surfboard saved from landfill. Made specifically for this show, this surfboard illustrates deep blues with gold.

“The white water bubbles look real – like you could step right into the surf,” said Johnson.

Johnson shared that the LJAWF is one of her favorite art shows as it “feels like a vacation.” She loves the location of the show, walking the beautiful ocean path at night and all the great La Jolla restaurants.

L’CHAIM magazine: What inspired you to become an artist?

JOHNSON: I was inspired and encouraged early. My second grade teacher told me I had a “good eye for art” and my mom? and my dad helped me to “see” shapes and sketch them.

 

L’CHAIM: Please share where your work is shown and the awards you have won.

JOHNSON: My art and surfboards are shown at Artist Eye Gallery and Cottage Furnishings in Laguna Beach. Since 2013, I have participated in over 50 shows. This year, the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival asked me to be their featured artist and this means a lot to me. In addition to being showcased as the Featured Artist at many other show in California, I have won the AIA “Special Citation” for my surfboard art, “Best of Show,” from KUDO’s magazine at Balboa Island Artwalk, “Commemorative Poster Artist,” at Indian Wells Art Festival and ribbon recognition for several art pieces.

 

L’CHAIM: How do you feel the LJAWF inspires young artists?

JOHNSON: Seeing what can be done by other artists paves the way for ideas, experimentation and determination. Through the LJAWF, they will see normal people who have developed their talent, benefitting from the art programs and hands on art events. The more time applied evolves your art to new levels. Be aware of what doesn’t work and believe in yourself as you develop your talent.”

Learn more about Johnson on her website at www.CarolynJohnsonGallery.com.

Renowned landscape photographer Ian Ely, owner of the Ian Ely Gallery located at 1141 Prospect in La Jolla will be at booths #415/416, about a block off Prospect Street visible from both sides of Girard, displaying many of his new masterpieces.

L’CHAIM: What inspired you to become a landscape photographer?

ELY: As a boy I was drawn to nature. As a man I am fascinated by it. As a photographer, I am compelled to capture those perfect moments in time nature presents to me, through the craft that has become my calling. Landscape photography is my passion, my purpose, my journey and my job – but, above all it is the defining joy of my life.

L’CHAIM: What are some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of being a landscape photographer?

ELY: Through my photography I’ve found a way to share that feeling of freedom and closeness to nature with others. With every click of the shutter, my goal is to go beyond simply the recording of a scene. I strive to capture not just the image I see through my lens, but also the very essence of that time, place, moment and perfection. I want the viewer to feel the same connection I did, as if they were right there on the beach at sunrise with the gentle waves rolling in, or standing beneath a majestic tumbling waterfall, damp from its spray, or resting their hands on timeless, weatherworn rocks in the desert, listening for ghosts of the past. It’s both my challenge, my motivation and it’s absolutely what I live for.

Throughout my many years on the road, I’ve discovered the beauty of this magnificent country which knows no limits. So, for my part, I’ve vowed to place no limits on my willingness to explore it, and to venture into the landscape with an open heart, to receive whatever Mother Nature chooses to reveal. I’ve found my home behind the lens, wherever that may be, from the mighty frontier wilderness of Alaska’s ice passages to the serenity of the lakes and aspen-covered slopes of the majestic Rocky Mountains. These are the places that make my soul sing.

Many people hold nature at arm’s length, stepping back to enjoy its beauty, but not seeking to achieve a spiritual connection. All my life, I’ve been striving to get closer, to walk towards nature rather than away from it. As I explore those magical places, my job is to “get the shot,” to capture that moment and take it back with me through the lens of my camera.

L’CHAIM: What do you believe the LJAWF offers to young artists and how do you support the festival?

ELY: I have participated in this event for many years, even before opening my gallery down the street on Prospect 3 years ago. I feel proud, to be a part of the list of sponsors and artist who help the local community and schools with many after hour programs, especially art, knowing that art is very important for the kids.

Learn more about Ely on his website at www.ianely.com

Krista Schumacher is a young palette knife oil painter and will be in booths #274/276. Capturing nature in a unique and spectacular way, Krista has won awards such as the Southwest Art Magazine’s “Top 21 Under 31” and the 2018 Launchpad Artist for Art San Diego. She has gained numerous collectors both nationally and internationally.

Her mother, Kathy, is also a palette knife oil painter, and they will both display their work at the festival. This will be their first mother-daughter exhibition on the West Coast. Krista was a corps member in Teach For America, taught art full-time and attended graduate school for a Masters in Art Education.

She has cultivated partnerships with Ligne Roset La Jolla and Ferrari of San Diego.

L’CHAIM: What do like about working in oils and what do you enjoy most about the creative process?

SCHUMACHER: Working with oils is second nature to me. I absolutely love the rich pigment of the oil paint. I am often inspired by nature, especially the unique landscapes of the West Coast and sometimes the ideas are the offspring of my imagination. As a palette artist, it is extremely rewarding to take an idea and see the idea unfold onto a canvas.”

When people see my work in person, they always comment on the vivid colors, texture, and movement. When someone collects my work, it makes me proud. Not only are they captivated by the beauty of the art, but they believe in me as an artist.

 

L’CHAIM: What are some of the elements you enjoy about the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival?

SCHUMAKER: La Jolla is an artist’s dream, filled with inspiration at every corner. The LJAWF has an unwavering commitment to contribute to the La Jolla community. Being a local La Jolla artist, I cannot thank my community enough for supporting the arts.

Learn more about Shumaker on her website at www.kristaschumakerart.com.

Roy Kerckhoffs has participated in LJAWF for years as a celebrated hand coloring photographer. Roy can be found at booths #243/#244. He has produced a coffee table book of beach and historical scenes, “The Unique Art of Roy Kerckhoffs.”

L’CHAIM: What do you enjoy most about being a photographer?

KERCKHOFFS: Going out there and obtaining more shots. I create other parts of my work including printing, stretching canvas, framing, hand coloring. I also enjoy experimenting with the hand coloring of paint on my black and white photographs.

Since I have started coloring my images, I’ve used photo oils, coloring my photos on photo paper. A couple of years ago, I colored my photos on canvas, finding that the Marshall’s photo oils didn’t work well on canvas, so I turned to acrylics. After some experimenting, I used oils for canvas, including glazes made from regular oil paint to color and opaque oil paint to paint in skies.

 

L’CHAIM: What do you like about LJAWF and how it provides funding for the La Jolla schools?

KERCKHOFFS: Meeting the festival visitors and explaining in person what I do. It is a very good thing that this show supports underfunded programs, including art and science at La Jolla public schools. We all know that education is the key in one’s development.

 

L’CHAIM: How do you like the location of LJAWF and what are you looking forward to this year?

KERCKHOFFS: The location of the show is perfect. Right in the center of downtown La Jolla, with it’s shops, restaurants and close to the ocean. This is one of the shows I love to do because it is well organized, well visited and with an easy set-up and break-down. I’m looking forward to presenting some new work, including my photos on canvas, colored with oil paints and the use of new substrates.”

Learn more about Kerchoffs on his website www.roykart.com

The La Jolla Art and Wine Festival Foundation is a non-profit, with a purpose to fund vital programs in La Jolla public schools. All profits raised during the festival benefit underfunded programs, including art, music, and science at all 5 La Jolla public schools.

For more information about the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival, visit https://www.ljawf.com/ or call McFarlane Promotions, Inc. at (619) 233-5008.

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