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Photos: First Friday Art Walk paints a picture of La Jolla galleries

Sixteen art galleries kept their lights on well past sunset Dec. 3 as part of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association’s First Friday Art Walk.

The event partnered with local restaurants and others to highlight the breadth of gallery offerings in The Village and promote collaboration among businesses.

Art collectors, passersby and other visitors listened to live music, nibbled on catered bites and conversed with artists and owners as they mingled in the galleries, which were mapped out on cards provided by LJVMA.

At Lik Fine Art on Prospect Street, guests sipped on the “Harbor Holiday” cocktail from Mermaids & Cowboys. The gallery also offered a hot chocolate station and holiday cookies.

Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery on Ivanhoe Avenue provided wine and a meet-and-greet with La Jolla artist and author Peggy Hinaekian, while at Yiddishland on Wall Street, guests were offered desserts as they watched a Hanukkah menorah lighting.

Across from Yiddishland at Krista Schumacher Art Gallery, assistants passed out individually bottled margaritas and boxed chips and salsa from Puesto La Jolla restaurant.

L&G Projects on Herschel Avenue hosted Mexican sculptor Alejandro Martin Moreno Alonso, who goes by the name OTTO.

At BFree Studio on Girard Avenue, a disc jockey played music for those who stopped in for champagne and visits with artists Diane Feuerstein and Andrea Leavitt.

Katey Longo, an LJVMA trustee and gallery manager of Lik Fine Art, said the event was planned “to put our galleries on a pedestal,” since many closed during the COVID-19 pandemic as others opened.

She said she has enjoyed getting to know other gallery proprietors and referring collectors to a variety of galleries throughout The Village.

The Art Walk’s pairing with neighborhood restaurants and other places makes the event “really interesting,” she said.

“I want businesses to help other businesses,” Longo said. She described the number of local merchants who have become involved as “overwhelming in a really positive way.”

The Art Walk is planned for the first Friday of every month through 2022. Longo said future iterations may be themed, such as when galleries partner with yoga instructors or aestheticians for a health motif.

Longo said she hopes the Art Walks “bring more life back to La Jolla on Friday nights and get people out of the house.”

The next First Friday Art Walk is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Jan. 7. For more information, visit lajollabythesea.com.