Art and Wine Walk hopes to increase visibility of local scene


by James Rodney

La Jolla has always been known as a nexus of fine art, food and wine. This Thursday, Sept. 23, the best of these things will be featured at the first La Jolla Gallery & Wine Walk in the Village.

The event will include a self-guided tour of galleries and restaurants. There will also be wine tastings from local and international wineries.

The Gallery & Wine Walk is organized by Promote La Jolla, the business improvement district for the community.

“We hope for the event to bring more visibility to the La Jolla shopping district,” said Tom Noel, owner of Fingerhut Gallery. “I think events like this are wonderful introduction activities for residents of San Diego who may not be familiar with other neighborhoods or haven’t really spent a lot of time in those neighborhoods. What I find often is that a lot of people who are new to the community participate in something like this as a way to get to know what’s out there.”

Yvette Marcum of Promote La Jolla agrees that the gallery tour is about locals and visitors. “It’s a refreshing way to enjoy the town in which we all live, to get out and see the different areas. And La Jolla is, of course, one of the finest, not only because of the businesses but because of the scenery and the atmosphere.”

There have been attempts in the past to arrange similar art walks of limited success. This week’s event promises to be greater in scale and accomplishment, due to Promote La Jolla’s efforts to create an event that is more diverse as well as better advertised.

“We’ve tried to do these art walks before,” said Linda Kass of Prospect Place Fine Art, “and they’ve never really taken off, because I don’t think the organization was as good as it seems to be this time.”

Marcum said the business community is enthusiatic about the event. “Even those merchants who aren’t participating - that are maybe other retailers in clothing and shoes - they’re also excited about the event, too. It’s been really nice and there’s been a lot of positive feedback. I’m really excited.”

Twenty-five galleries will be participating, showcasing works of art from around the world, including traditional and impressionist paintings from the Charles Hecht Gallery, Giclee watercolor pieces from Roni Sumer Watercolors, 18th and 19th century masterpieces at the Simic New Renaissance and international pieces at Fingerhut Gallery.

The galleries will also host wine tastings of almost 40 wines from Australia, Chile, France, Italy, South Africa and California. To compliment the wine, 10 of La Jolcompliment the wine, 10 of La Jolla’s finest restaurants will offer house specialties and appetizers along the tour.