Family Art Center to return at this year’s La Jolla Art & Wine Festival

For those who are as interested in making art as they are seeing it at the upcoming La Jolla Art & Wine Festival, some family centered festival favorites put on a pandemic pause are making a return for the 2022 event. Notably, the Geppetto’s Family Art Center and other activities for the festival’s youngest attendees.

The 14th annual La Jolla Art & Wine Festival will be from 10 am to 6 pm Oct. 8 and 9, along Girard Avenue in The Village and will feature over 160 hand-selected juried artists from across the United States and Mexico displaying a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, jewelry design, fine glass, ceramics, woodwork, mixed media and photography.

This year’s Wine & Beer Garden is a ticketed event and runs from noon to 6 pm both days and features wines from Mexico’s Valle De Guadalupe, California, Italy and France and internationally renowned brews and spirits by several local San Diego craft breweries and distilleries.

“We want to be the best we can be for our town, and you can come as a family and have something for everyone,” said event founder Sherry Ahern. “We are all about families and fun, so we have one great activity after another.”

Sylvia Aldebol shows art from her SA Art & Design studio during a past La Jolla Art & Wine Festival.

(Vincent Andrunas)

Among them is the Family Art Center, sponsored by Geppetto’s toy store, which provides hands-on crafts and interactive art for children of all ages. The Family Art Center was not offered last year due to concerns about gathering during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic (there was no La Jolla Art & Wine Festival in 2020).

“I didn’t feel comfortable with where we were with COVID last year and having kids grouped together, but people said they missed us,” said Geppetto’s owner Brian Miller. “I heard about it for weeks after the festival. I felt terrible we didn’t do it and am so glad we could do it again. We are back at full force and blowing it up with great activities.”

Tables will be set up with art-making activities, crafts, games, science experiments, 3-D printing, robotics, body movement, face painting and more.

“It’s an art festival, so it’s important for them to have the opportunity to make art,” Miller said. “It’s about the process and the product, and I love seeing the smile on kid’s faces.”

A community art project led by artist Autumn Love will take place for artists of all ages and skill levels. Love’s artistic mission is to “heal the world through the power and energy of love” according to a statement. Her interactive art project will combine the messages of love, gratitude and togetherness, in an installation that will be displayed throughout the festival.

Ahern added that Art Scōl will offer fast-drying clay so attendees can make and take home their own pieces, and there will be several “Instagram-ready” photo opportunities. “We have a 12-foot-tall, inflated elephant [balloon] that is all decked out and five- and nine-foot inflated sunflowers,” she said, adding that stilt walkers and jugglers will also roam the streets.

“There’s a lot,” she said with a laugh.

Other performers include the Rosin Box Project ballet company that will perform excerpts from productions it is staging this season, along with high school theater troupes and marching bands.

The Wine & Beer Garden will also host a diverse lineup of musical acts throughout the weekend. On Saturday, Joseph Luna, the San Diego Opera, Jason Mann, Owen Boles and the Smokin’ Boles Blues Band, Ginger Roots and The Naked I will perform. On Sunday, the Jorge Camberos Duo, San Diego Opera, Blazing Jane, Whiskey & Burlap, Finnegan Blue and Full Strength will take the stage.

Daring Greatly

Daring Greatly performs at a previous La Jolla Art & Wine Festival.

(Vincent Andrunas)

La Jolla Art & Wine Festival proceeds benefit under-funded programs at La Jolla’s five public schools — La Jolla High School, Muirlands Middle School, La Jolla Elementary School, Bird Rock Elementary School and Torrey Pines Elementary School — such as art, music, science , physical education, technology and on-site medical care. Since its inception, the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival has donated more than $1 million to these schools for the educational benefit of more than 4,000 children. Learn more at ljawf.com.

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