COVER STORYSeptember 2023

La Jolla Art & Wine Festival


By Deborah Vietor

Join in the fun and festivities at the 15th annual La Jolla Art and Wine Festival (LJAWF), in a class by itself held October 7 and 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in downtown La Jolla. The streets from Girard to Prospect will be magically transformed into a feast for the senses, including over 160 juried artists from the United States and Mexico, selected for their superb talent and unique artwork.

With over 45,000 visitors, admission is free and pets are welcome. Artists’ creations will be displayed in mediums including: Sculpture, painting, mixed media, fiber, fine glass, jewelry design, live art, woodwork, printmaking, ceramics, photography and wearable art.

Since its inception, the LJAWF, has donated over $1,000,000 to five local La Jolla public schools, for the educational benefit of more than 4,000 children each year. These essential funds benefit art, music, science, physical education, and technology programs at the five schools.

Check out fun experiences and unique items in their 2-day Silent Auction such as a once in a lifetime stay at Rancho La Puerta. Attendees can view items with their Smartphone, computer or tablet and bid online. All you have to do is register using the link provided and start bidding.

An award winning traditional artist, Paola Luther is the Featured Artist for the LJAWF. With over 15 years working on traditional art in all mediums: oil, watercolors, pastels, and gauche, Paola utilizes a delicate touch with a sense of light and color.

Asked about her process regarding art, Paola responded: “My latest endeavors are centered on the human figure in various landscapes, with a particular focus on the beach. To create my art, I strive to simplify and expand my perspective, seeking out the perfect blend of color, contrast and luminosity. While I take reference photos, I use multiple sources to encompass my designs, making color adjustments, adding or subtracting people, and including objects that enhance the narrative. Leveraging my knowledge of design, I strive to create a captivating atmosphere that tells a compelling story.”

“The array of colors that I witness when people bask in the full sun and cast strong shadows fascinates me. The awe-inspiring landscape of California, particularly its picturesque beach scenery, is a constant source of inspiration for me. My artistic vision is centered on showcasing California’s distinctive and magnificent features. In my paintings, I strive to convey a narrative that captures the essence of the moment. My aim is to magnify the beauty of fleeting moments and encapsulate them in my artwork.”

Paola loves LJAWF’s all-inclusive nature, as it caters to adults, children, and even pets. “It is truly delightful to witness the beautiful streets come to life with the jubilant revelry of the art lovers and admirers. The event is thoughtfully organized and well-coordinated, infused with an infectious energy that invigorates all in attendance. Additionally, the event organizers’ promotional efforts begin months in advance, rendering it a must-visit destination for Angelinos and visitors from neighboring cities.”

Learn more about Paola at

Visitors 21 and over can participate in the iconic beer and wine garden, where wine aficionados and hose with an appreciation of craft beer and spirits unite. Local craft breweries along with 35 wineries and distilleries are available. Sample exceptional wines from Valle De Guadalupe, California, Italy, and France. Located in the center of the festival, hours are noon to 6 p.m., with the final pouring at 5:30 p.m. The area offers ample seating, shade and room to dance, offering diversified musical entertainment.

Ambrogio15 Enoteca, in La Jolla, is a festival sponsor this year. Awarded “Best Pizza in San Diego” by San Diego Magazine, the Union Tribune and Ranch and Coastmagazine, owner Giacomo Pizzigoni and his business partner, Andrea Burrone opened the first Ambrogio15 seven years ago in

Pacific Beach, with the ambitious goal of redefining the perception of pizza in San Diego, shifting from fast food to a unique dining experience. The name derives from the patron saint of Milan, in their hometown, San Ambrogio. With a symbolic value, the name represents their city, a metropolis always looking to the future without forgetting the traditions. International and fast paced, where design, architecture, fashion, history and gastronomy merge into something special.

Asked what makes their cuisine unique, Giacomo answered: “Our pizza is very unique, very different from a Neapolitan pizza. The dough consists of a mix of different flours, all imported from Italy that have nutritional values; are highly digestible, and create a paper-thin crust that enhances the flavors of the ingredients that top the pizzas. Even with the recipes we like to be creative. For example one of our most loved pizzas has potatoes, speck and truffle oil, another one recreates the flavors of a traditional lasagna with truffles.”

“The wines play a huge part in our story, as we were the very first restaurant to bring natural wines from Italy. Working with our partners at DOCG imports, we curated a selection of boutique winemakers who love their land and really showcase the incredible biodiversity of Italy, giving our clients a product that’s authentic to their terroir and that is very unique. Last year we received the “Best Wine List in San Diego Award” from the prestigious Italian guide Gambero Rosso.

“We couldn’t be happier to sponsor the LJAWF and give back to a place that means a lot to us.”

The Geppetto’s Toys “Family Art Center,” a fan favorite each year, will return with plenty of free family fun for creators of all ages. With activities designed to engage a variety of interests, the Family Art Center promises laughter, joy, and magical memories for all visitors. Examples include art activities and games hosted by Geppetto’s, ballet and dance with the Rosin Box Project, and mixed media art activities with the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. There will also be prize drawings and giveaways sponsored by Geppetto’s Toys, OOLY, and the Op. Continued entertainment includes My Gym La Jolla, La Jolla Youth Robotics, La Jolla Riford Library, face painting, Tito’s Soft Play, balloon twisting, Momentum Acrobatics, Seaside Arts Center, and others.

Finally, enjoy the synergy of an interactive mural created and directed by local artist and parent Mieko Anekawa, who has a connection with one of the LJAWF’s beneficiary schools. Attendees can visit the mural during the festival and leave their mark on this public art project. The completed mural will be on display for the entire community to treasure until the close of the festival. Enjoy roving art performers at the festival as well.

The mission of the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival Foundation is to bring needed funds to La Jolla public schools and art to the community of La Jolla. All donations to the LJAWF are tax deductible. For more information, visit For information on sponsorship opportunities, email


1000 Words: Israeli-French Lawyer is Jewish State’s New Tourism Consul to US South

Previous article

Prayers and Passages: Her Story

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


August 2023


By Oz Laniado As we know all too well, antisemitism is on the rise, especially in our high schools and colleges. At UCSD, a ...

Home of Guiding Hands

By Kaye Turpin Home of Guiding Hands is a local organization that provides direct services and support to more than 4,000 individuals diagnosed ...
April 2023

Guns ‘‘N’ Moses

By Franklin Felber “I am here to help any Jew who is ready to embrace armed self-defense.” That is the mission of Alex ...