Historic Landmark Group launches all-ages photo contest: Aim is to document La Jolla as it appears in 2019

The courtyard at La Jolla Woman’s Club, 7791 Draper Ave.
(Light File)

Submissions are now being accepted for the first Landmark PhotoFest contest, facilitated through the La Jolla Historical Society’s Landmark Group. All La Jollans are invited to grab a camera and document the character and architecture of The Jewel.

The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. Sunday, March 24.

An entry form can be found at or by e-mailing

The winning submissions will be exhibited at the La Jolla Library from April 7 to May 18, with the winners announced at a reception 4 p.m. Sunday, April 7 at the library, at 7555 Draper Ave.

Winners will be selected in four categories: elementary school, middle school, high school and adult. Cash prizes will be given in each category, including $500 for Best in Show.

According to press material, the focus of the project is historic preservation through photographic documentation of residential and village architecture — especially landmarks that characterize the community today.

Judges include Museum of Photographic Arts curator Karen Noble and La Jolla Historical Society historian Carol Olten.

“We want to document the visual character of La Jolla,” explained PhotoFest chair Susan Ketring. “We want people of all levels to submit photos of the things that are important to preserve in La Jolla — buildings, seascapes, a wide range of things. Because we are the La Jolla Historical Society Landmark Group, we want to see photos that document the unique character of La Jolla and highlight the importance of historic preservation.”

She added that photos can be of architectural elements or the buildings themselves, “so a portion of building or a sidewalk that has dates of when they were laid down (could be included),” Ketring said. “One of the things we’d love to see is photographs documenting old cottages and the older buildings in the community that are important to keep track of.”

Landmark Group chair Seonaid McArthur added that contest organizers will also accept photos that provide a social commentary on the changes taking place in La Jolla.

“I hope people will look at The Village because there has been incredible transformation here in the last 30 years,” she said. “There are photos of our shops and buildings that can be taken and we need that documentation. These photos will be added to our files to provide a snapshot of what 2019 La Jolla looks like.”

Although the La Jolla Historical Society has hosted photo contests in the past, this is the first organized by the Landmark Group.

It came about, said Ketring, “because we were making plans for activities for La Jolla Landmarks Week and talking about how critical it is to showcase the importance of preservation to young people in our community. It’s not necessarily a given that these buildings will be preserved in the future. We want to get the next generation involved in this effort.”

The third week in March is recognized by the City of San Diego as “La Jolla Landmarks Week” to celebrate and encourage preservation in La Jolla.

The La Jolla Landmark Group puts together a slate of events for the week to “encourage the community to think about the importance of preservation,” McArthur said, and this includes educational workshops and parties.

The deadline for submissions marks the end of La Jolla Landmarks Week. Learn more at

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