La Jolla Festival of the Arts promises a feast for the eyes

La Jolla Festival of the Arts is back for its 29th year this weekend, when some 7,000 attendees are expected to experience “art” for the eyes, ears and taste buds at UC San Diego’s Warren Field. Gates will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 20 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 21. There will be a shuttle bus from the parking area to the festival.

Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Torrey Pines, festival funds raised will benefit 20 programs that support and enhance the lives of wounded warriors, as well as San Diego children and adults with disabilities, through adaptive sports and educational endeavors.

The festival will showcase more than 200 artists specializing in ceramics, fiber/textiles, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, paper, photography and sculpture. In keeping with a surf culture theme, world-renowned surf photographer Aaron Chang and custom surfboard shaper Tim Bessell will serve as honorary ambassadors and will display wares.

Chang, known for his striking ocean images, also has a personal connection to the event. After a neck injury, he was immobile for six months, and said he understands the value of providing a more active life for those with disabilities.

Bessell, whose studio is located in La Jolla, recently launched the Artist Series, in which he imprints graphics by famous artists onto custom surfboards.

The first series explores the work of Andy Warhol. “It’s a great honor and privilege to show my work in a venue so focused on real art,” Bessell said.

Musically, three stages will host 16 performers throughout the weekend to serenade the crowd with jazz, country and pop tunes, including Bishop’s School grad Nina Francis and San Diego mainstay Peter Sprague.

Food for purchase will include a range for all tastes, from Hawaiian barbecue to Greek, pizza and ice cream, and everything in between. Admission includes craft beer and wine tasting. Dads in attendance June 21 can receive a complimentary pint glass. Meanwhile, children can enjoy crafts, face painting and puppet shows. Children under age 16 may attend for free.

Since its inception, the festival has raised nearly $2 million in support of adaptive sports programs through which more than 40,000 people with disabilities have participated. Last year, more than $157,000 was donated to these charities.

Directions, map, musical lineup and tickets are available at

La Jolla Festival of the Arts

■ When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 20; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 21

■ Where: UC San Diego’s Warren Field (Voight Drive at Gilman Drive)

■ Benefits: More than 20 programs that support and enhance the lives of those with disabilities

■ Tickets: $11-$15

■ Parking: Free on Gilman Drive with complimentary shuttle bus

■ Website: