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Art Walk draws a crowd

Merchants to improve upon event

La Jolla art gallery merchants met last week to proclaim the “First Friday Art Walk” held April 3 a success and to plot strategy for improving upon it.

“We had good feedback and a couple of sales,” noted Tammy McManus, director of Martin Lawrence Galleries at 1111 Prospect St.

“We had a ton of people here,” agreed Matt Netterville, senior art consultant at La Jolla Gallery, which hosted the April 15 critique of the first-ever monthly art walk. “We had a really good follow-up on Saturday and Sunday, a lot of sales, a bunch of referrals, based on what we did Friday night.”

“We’re so happy you’re doing this. It’s like a little extension” of the Gallery & Wine Walk, said Tiffany Sherer, executive director of Promote La Jolla, the Village business improvement district that hosts its own event. (The next one is set for Sept. 24.) “We’re here to help you.”

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First Friday emerged out of gallery owners’ recognition that they share common goals and that all can benefit by working together.

“La Jolla is a beautiful mecca for art,” Netterville said. “Events are fun and always bring people in. Most art districts have some kind of monthly or quarterly event. We decided in La Jolla to try to get one started.”

McManus of Martin Lawrence has been credited with doing the legwork to “pioneer” First Friday Art Walk.

There were some problems with the initial First Friday event, however, such as food disappearing too quickly and leaving a mess.

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“The food is gone for now,” said Kerry Bohanon, associate director at La Jolla Gallery. “But we’re going to have entertainment every time.”

Egon Kafka, who operates the La Jolla Village Lodge, questioned whether Friday was the best day to stage the art walk.

“Traditionally it is,” McManus answered. “It’s a thing that just resonates with everybody.”

It was also suggested that developing a recognizable logo for the art walk would help promote the event, which was brought to people’s attention in part by chalk writing on the sidewalk on the days before the first one.

Participating galleries on April 3 included: Images of Nature, Wentworth Gallery, Martin Lawrence Gallery, Hallmark Gallery; Contemporary Fine Arts, Sally Huss, Morrison Hotel Gallery; Peter Lik Gallery, Monarch Gallery, Simic Gallery, Derissi Studio, Siamak Art Gallery; Africa & Beyond Gallery and Charles Hecht Gallery.

The next First Friday Art Walk will be May 1.