Pretty as a picture: La Jolla’s annual art festival has entertainment for a great cause


By Tina Safi


A variety of art, music, food and family activities await visitors to the 24th annual La Jolla Festival of the Arts on June 26 and 27 on UCSD’s East Campus. The festival, produced by the Torrey Pines Kiwanis Foundation, aims to provide a fabulous arts and entertainment experience in support of recreational and educational programs for San Diegans with disabilities.

In addition to the varied art booths, different cuisines can be sampled in the food area, and children can participate in art games and activities. There will also be chef demonstrations and book signings.

“The festival has continued to expand, and this year is no exception,” said Don Ludwig, the 2010 Festival Chair. “With world renowned chalk artists, local popular bands like the Mar Dels and Rockola, a classic car show, and around 190 artists, it is no wonder why it has become one of the top art festivals in the Southwest.”

One of the festival’s most anticipated attractions is the classic car show, which will feature a display of vintage Austin-Healey vehicles. The cars are being billed as a “drivable form of artwork” and will impress any car enthusiast.

The vehicles will be provided courtesy of the Paralyzed Veterans Racing Association, Wicked Stangs Car Club and the Austin-Healey Club of San Diego. Alongside the classic British Austin-Healey cars of the 1960s, the exhibit will also feature modern muscle cars and racing-configured automobiles. Several of the vehicles have been modified to accommodate disabled drivers.

As for the actual art at the event, it will include everything from mixed-media works to photography, sculpture, airbrush and jewelry displays. Participating artists include Bart Aldrich, a Southern California native known for his vibrant, worldly photographs; and Nancy Carroll, a California painter renowned for her landscapes and still lifes. Each artist went through a rigorous jury selection process and will be on hand to discuss their displayed work.

The Awards Committee, composed of senior festival administrators and gallery owners, will recognize festival artists who show the highest level of accomplishment in design, execution and presentation. One artist will be chosen from this “Best of Show” program to be the “Featured Artist” at next year’s festival.

Melanie Stimmell Van Latum, an internationally recognized street painter, is the Featured Chalk Artist at the 2010 festival. Guests will be able to view the chalk art, created by Van Latum and other contributing artists, right at their feet. Van Latum, who is the only woman in the world to have the much-coveted title of “Maestra Madonnara” (master street painter), specializes in large- scale collaborative street painting projects.

This year’s festival poster was created by Cara Brown, a watercolorist from Northern California whose work was also featured in last year’s festival. Brown’s works feature a unique relationship between light and color that give each of her paintings a great sense of depth.

The La Jolla Festival of the Arts was founded in 1987.

“The $1.7 million that the Torrey Pines Kiwanis has donated to San Diegans with disabilities is what makes this event so special,” Ludwig said of the proceeds.

Some of this year’s sponsors include the City of San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture, Costco, San Diego 6 TV and Time Warner Cable, and the festival is presented by Night & Day.

If you go

  • What: La Jolla Festival of the Arts
  • When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 26-27
  • Where: UCSD East Campus, Genesee Avenue and Regents Road, La Jolla
  • Admission: $10 adults, free for ages 10 and under
  • Contact: (858) 586-1202,