For more than two decades the Festival of the Arts, produced by the Torrey Pines Kiwanis, has gathered some of the region’s most talented artists to benefit San Diegans with disabilities.
This year’s event has expanded to include an environmental fair, exotic car show, book signings organized by Warwick’s Bookstore, an interactive kids’ zone and a chocolate extravaganza with gourmand Clay Gordon.
“We’re exploding with new things,” said event coordinator Teri Wray.
The 22nd La Jolla Festival of the Arts presented by Hyundai Genesis will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and 29, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the UCSD East Campus located at Genesee and Regents roads.
The focal point of the weekend festival is artwork, including paintings, sculpture, jewelry, photography and mixed media, from 190 acclaimed artists. The artwork will be on display and available for sale. Some of the artists will also perform demonstrations.
“This is a juried show,” Wray said. “We often have over 300 applicants, but we can only select about 190 due to space limitations.”
As has become tradition, the festival will include live entertainment, food and activities.
Eve Selis will perform Saturday, June 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., followed by Fred Benedetti at 2 p.m. and the Jazz Ensemble of San Diego at 3:15 p.m.
The Mar Dels will take to the stage on Sunday, June 29 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Country pop performer Harriet Berholtz will follow at 3 p.m.
Strolling musicians will provide entertainment to crowds all weekend long.
Restaurant Row offers a variety of foodstuff from eateries like Saigon on Fifth, Hunger Steakhouse, Sushi-Itto, Muscle Beach Cafe, Texas Twister and Victorian Sweet Shoppe.
“We have everything from frozen juice drinks to entrees,” Wray said.
The interactive Kids Zone will feature crafts, an inflatable bounce and a wheelchair obstacle course. There will also be a chalking area, with a demonstration by eight artists from Chalk La Strada.
This year’s Festival of the Arts truly offers something for everyone with the addition of an eco fair, a car display, the Art of Chocolate Tent, and Warwick’s author signings.
Every year the planners try to add other attractions that might be of interest to attendees, said Marjorie Kirby, a festival volunteer and Kiwanis member.
Kirby coordinated the Environmental Faire, making its premiere appearance this year.
“The whole emphasis is to bring unusual services and products to people that they might not normally know about,” she said.
Sponsored by the California Center for Sustainable Energy, the lineup of eco-friendly agencies includes Alternertec, Baker Electric Solar, Borrego Solar Systems, Inc., Butterfly Maidens, Clear Power Systems, Dannex Pest Control, Ecoclean Services, Electric Vehicle Association of San Diego, Hangers, I Love a Clean San Diego, Paint Green, Recycle San Diego, Solarartistry and Suntrex Solar.
A 1933 Rolls Royce “Woody” and Mustang Shelby, both electrified, will be on display, and children will have a chance to visit with Hangers’ mascot.
“The Environmental Faire participants will be providing information, education and contacts for sustainable products and services,” Kirby said. “Our intention is to inform and educate attendees of … products and services easily available in San Diego to support healthier lifestyles without compromising aesthetics or convenience.”
Warwick’s Bookstore has created an exciting lineup of author book signings and panels. On Saturday, June 28, fans can meet Sandra Gulland, author of “Mistress of the Sun,” at 9 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., readers can take advantage of a special early release of “Black Wave: A Family’s Adventure at Sea and the Disaster That Saved Them,” by John and Jean Silverwood.
Sunday, June 29 two panels will showcase chefs and mystery writers. At 10:30 a.m., Top Chef contestant and Oceanaire Seafood Restaurant chef Brian Malarkey, Sam “The Cooking Guy” Zien and Isabel Cruz of Isabel’s Cantina and the Coffee Cup will present a cooking demonstration. At 2:30 p.m. meet a foursome of mystery writers: Joseph Wambaugh, T. Jefferson Parker, Don Winslow and April Smith.
The exotic car display, also new this year, features a 1967 Obsidian Mustang Fastback Coupe R valued at $1.3 million, an all-original 1968 Shelby worth $200,000, a $85,000 2008 Shelby, a 1929 Durant and a ’67 Stingray Corvette.
On Saturday, June 28, attendees will have a chance to sample sweets from local chocolatiers in the Art of Chocolate tent. At 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. in the Warwick’s Pavilion, chocolate critic and expert Clay Gordon will present his new book, “Discover Chocolate.”
All proceeds from the festival are donated to more than 35 local organizations that support and aid San Diego children and adults with disabilities.
“To date, we have raised $1.5 million since the festival’s inception,” Wray said. “They’ve done a great thing with this festival. We have a great group of people who really care about the cause.”
Admission to Festival of the Arts is $10, children 12 and under are free. Active military plus one guest admitted free, with military identification. Visit
www.lajollaartfestival.orgfor a $2 off coupon. For information, call (858) 456-1268.