La Jolla’s First Friday Art Walk to bring in Mexican sculptor Dec. 3

Alejandro Martin Moreno Alonso, who goes by OTTO, will discuss his sculptures during La Jolla's First Friday Art Walk.
Alejandro Martin Moreno Alonso, who goes by the name OTTO, will discuss his sculptures during La Jolla’s First Friday Art Walk on Dec. 3.
(Courtesy of L&G Projects)

As part of the planned First Friday Art Walk on Dec. 3, the La Jolla Village Merchants Association and the L&G Projects gallery will present Mexican sculptor Alejandro Martin Moreno Alonso, who goes by the name OTTO.

The event will be from 4 to 7 p.m. with more than 15 galleries participating throughout The Village. In addition to staying open later, the galleries will partner with area merchants to provide food, beverages and entertainment.

“This is to highlight our beautiful galleries … and promote collaboration and merchants helping merchants,” LJVMA trustee Katey Longo, manager of Lik Fine Art, said at the association’s Nov. 10 meeting. “Before COVID, I did a lot of fun events at my gallery, and I missed that. My most successful events were when I paired up with someone else, whether it be a restaurant to provide food or a merchant to make a goody bag. It was a fun and easy partnership. We think the First Friday Art Walk will be amazing because we already have so much positive feedback from the galleries and partnering merchants.”

The featured gallery for the event is L&G Projects at 7940 Herschel Ave., which will host OTTO. According to a statement from the gallery, OTTO’s oversize sculptures, many of them more than 6 feet tall, feature “a mixture of Bauhaus style and modern architecture with colorful lines and curves full of life.”

L&G Projects owner George “Theo” Theodorakos called OTTO, 21, “an artist to keep your eye on. … He’s connected to a younger generation and on fire.”

OTTO’s sculptures include figures that look like hashtags, and one piece, “Mi Compa,” was created to “keep OTTO company” while he made other sculptures, Theodorakos said.

OTTO will be brought to La Jolla to offer people participating in the Art Walk “some insight on why he creates these pieces, what it means to him and the behind-the-scenes stuff that art lovers want to know,” Theodorakos said.

Theodorakos wanted to participate because “I know the value it gives to the community,” he said. “It creates more of a sense of a village in La Jolla. We have new residents who want something like this.”

He said he also will be showing artists from South Africa and Tel Aviv, Israel, during the Art Walk.

LJVMA used to have a community sip-and-stroll event known as Enjoya La Jolla, which included music and other entertainment, shopping deals and demonstrations, refreshments, prizes, contests and more to promote what The Village has to offer. Another event known as La Jolla Nights invited businesses to stay open later for community gatherings.

Given that the Dec. 3 Art Walk is intended to be the first in a series, Longo said she is continuing to look for merchants willing to partner with galleries for future events.

An Art Walk map will be available at any of the participating galleries or at Sotheby’s Plaza, 1111 Prospect St. A free parking voucher will be provided to those who visit, where a list of participating galleries can be found.

Other LJVMA news

Strength in the City: LJVMA voted to lend its support to the planned Strength in the City event Sunday, Jan. 16, in Scripps Park. Though it has been held in San Diego parks, the 2022 edition would be the first in La Jolla.

Strength in the City features vendor booths and classes with a focus on physical fitness, mental health, environmental causes and more. Proceeds go to local charities. The beneficiary for the January event has not been announced.

Strength in the City representative Madison Fray said the intent is to have local fitness enterprises involved. “It will be all local La Jolla people,” she said, adding that she wanted to partner with LJVMA to find vendors to participate.

The board voted unanimously to support the event. The La Jolla Parks & Beaches group also gave its support during its October meeting.

New officers: After swearing in six trustees who were voted in during LJVMA’s recent board election (four not in attendance will be sworn in at a future meeting), new officers were appointed. Amber Anderson was elected president, Morgan Barnes was re-elected vice president, Jo Cullen was chosen as treasurer and Summer Shoemaker was named secretary. Together, they make up the first all-female executive board in LJVMA’s history.

La Jolla Community Planning Association President Diane Kane swears in La Jolla Village Merchants Association trustees.
La Jolla Community Planning Association President Diane Kane swears in La Jolla Village Merchants Association trustees (from left) Andy Fotsch, Amber Anderson, Natalie Aguirre, Morgan Barnes, Cody Decker and Karen Roque.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Anderson will assume the presidency from Cody Decker, who opted not to seek the position again.

“Thank you to this board for letting me serve for the last six months,” Decker said. “I would like to stay on the board, but let this role go to someone who can put more time into it. This association deserves the most it can get.”

Next meeting: The La Jolla Village Merchants Association next meets at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8. The plan is to meet in person, though that will be determined as the date gets closer. Learn more at ◆