This weekend get out for the fourth annual La Jolla Art & Wine Festival (LJAWF) this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13-14. The festival will take place against the picturesque coastal setting in the heart of the La Jolla Village, spanning Girard Avenue between Prospect Avenue and Kline Street from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The LJAWF has become one of the biggest art and wine festivals on the west coast and is anticipating more than 30,000 visitors this year. For the first time in its history, admission will be free and open to the public due to large donations from the festival's main sponsor Wells Fargo. All entrances will be accepting $5 cash donations and all proceeds benefit the local La Jolla public schools.
Sherry Ahern founded the first La Jolla Art and Wine Festival in 2009 in response to the worsening economy that was affecting La Jolla's artists and the decline in government funding for art and other programs in her children's schools.
“I wanted to bring art back to La Jolla," said Ahern. "La Jolla has been an artist colony since 1894. That’s what it was when I was growing up here; we moved here in 1960. We used to see art sitting in the streets everywhere, there were easels; it was a very artsy, artsy place.”
Additionally, Ahern was tired of seeing schools continue to loose funding and thought the festival would be a way for the community to combat the decline.
“There were so many cuts with the district that seemed never to stop, never to stop. I just thought why don’t we become a united front? If we all ask for the same things at the same time we’re stronger," said Ahern.
Since 2009 the festival has raised more than $120,000 for local schools and expects this year’s event to be the most successful yet. The money raised will benefit underfunded programs such as art, music, science, physical education, and technology in Bird Rock Elementary, La Jolla Elementary, Torrey Pines Elementary and Muirlands Middle School.
“I think that going forward, as an endowment to the school, it will add up to a lot of money as time goes on. But I think it’s a great plus for the community as well. It’s all real positive,” said Ahern.
Art will definitely not be in short supply this weekend with the diverse group of artists that will add color to the festival and showcase a number of media, such as painting, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, photography, woodwork, glass and mixed media.
“The art itself is absolutely stunning," said Ahern. "We are a jury show, so that means that the artists were juried in by jurors that are in the art field and they bring in only the best art."
The festival will feature work from more than 150 established artists from San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and beyond. Amongst many of the returning LJAWF veterans and award-winners will be a mix of new artists showing at the festival for the first time. This group of renowned artists includes Laura Seeling, a New York Times best selling children’s book author, and Aaron Chang, a world-renowned surf photographer.
There will be plenty of drinks and live music to enjoy while you take in all of the art on display as well. The beer and wine garden will be open at noon and present more than 20 premier wineries from around the world, as well as some of San Diego’s award-winning breweries such as Ballast Point and Stone Brewing Company. La Jolla Brewhouse and Bird Rock Fine Wine will represent La Jolla in the beer and wine garden.
Additional entertainment will include the San Diego Circus Center, flash dance mobs, singers and songwriters, food from the Cups Culinary and a silent action offering an array of items.
Children will be entertained at the Geppetto’s/Witt Lincoln Family Art Center, which will be located on Wall Street. Kids will be able add some art of their own to the festival by helping paint the car donated from Witt Lincoln. Art and dance classes, games, chalk art, cartooning, crafts, edible art and a family scavenger hunt will also be available for the children’s enjoyment.
“What makes us special is that we’re La Jolla, number one, and that you don’t go to festivals and have this much range of things to do," said Ahern. "We haven’t missed a beat. There’s something here for everybody.”
Valet parking will be available and located at the entrance on Kline Street at Girard Avenue for $10 per day. Valet will be free for handicapped persons with appropriate documentation.
Free shuttles will pick up at Muirlands Middle School and in front of Holiday Inn Express on La Jolla Boulevard and drop off at the festival entrance on the corner of Girard Avenue and Kline Street. Additionally, Donovan’s Steak and Chop House will provide its “Don-O-Van” shuttle service from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. running between the same shuttle stops as event shuttles.
- Free entrance, suggested $5 donation
- Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Girard Avenue between Prospect and Kline streets
- Pets allowed on leashes
- Public garages and lots open:
- 888 Prospect St. for $10
- 1200 Prospect St. for $10
- 7825 Fay Ave. for $5
- 1055 Wall St. for $5
- 7855 Ivanhoe $5
- Muirlands Middle School free