The , one of the village’s most anticipated events, returns this weekend to Upper Girard Avenue, between Pearl and Genter streets.
Now in its third year, the celebration promises to be the largest and most exciting ever, with crowds estimated to exceed 20,000.
Founder Sherry Ahern says the juried art show has already created buzz as one of the most prestigious festivals of its kind in southern California. She said it has breathed new life into La Jolla’s reputation as an art colony which began in the 1890s when Anna Held established the famous Green Dragon Colony as an artist and writers retreat.
“When I came to La Jolla it was really an artist village, not such a corporate place,” explained Ahern. “We’ve lost some of that. With the economy (being weak), I thought the festival would be a good way to generate money for our three public elementary schools.”
Ahern explained that , and elementary schools get less money from the state than most public schools because, she says, their test scores are higher.
“They have no art, music, technology, science or physical education program – or librarian or school nurse,” she said. “The schools’ 1,600 kids and parents are participating in the event this year. Volunteers can be part of a wonderful pool of very talented people.”
More than 130 established artists from San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County and Baja will have the opportunity to showcase their work. Among those is Karen Decias, an abstract painter and proud mom of a Torrey Pines Elementary student.
“As an event for the community, it’s excellent and so well put together,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for families to be outside, and enjoy hands-on activities and exposure to arts and culture.”
Decias' art was recently exhibited at a show in Soho, NYC.
“It was a big success and I want to duplicate that in La Jolla,” she added.
Other attractions include a silent auction, the Family Art Center and a gourmet marketplace. A beer and wine garden will feature boutique wines from more than 30 wineries.
“Adults 21 and over will be able to purchase a wristband for $60 that allows them to have all of the wine tastings they want,” Ahern explained.
Comedian and entertainment director/producer Mitch Feingold has scheduled an impressive lineup of performers which he says are worth the price of admission alone.
“We have 14 hours of awesome entertainment, seven hours each day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” he said, excited and exhausted. “I can’t wait until Oct. 3.”
The schedule is as follows:
- Robin Henkel with Troy Sandow (country blues)
- Solo Yo with Yochanan Sebastian (urban jazz)
- Mary Dolan, Christy Bruneau, Pi Jacobs, Brandy Lee (folk/pop/rock)
- The Royals (doo-wop a cappella)
- Dirt Road Fancy (indie music); Solemar (Brazilian)
- Farran & Maldonado (Brazilian jazz)
- Charlie Imes and the Hodad Surf Club (beach music/folk)
- Zzymzzy Jazz Quartet (gypsy swing)
- David Bennett Cohen (blues)
- Cole Collective (east coast jazz/funk)
- Steph Johnson (R&B/soul/funk)
- The Choice Entertainers (doo-wop a cappella)
- The Rhythm Jacks
Since the festival launched in 2009, more than $40,000 has been raised each year for local area schools. The goal is to exceed that this year.
“We are very passionate about this, and start working on next year’s festival two days after it is over,” Ahern said, smiling.
The festival will take place Sat., Oct. 1 and Sun., Oct. 2. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for kids (12 and under), seniors (65 and above) and military. Kids ages 2 and under are free.
To win two tickets to the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival try to .