Art blanche: La Jolla’s art scene a community claim to frame

new mural on exterior of authentic vintage posters shop in La Jolla of famed lion P-22.

Art aficionados of any scale have many avenues to explore the visual arts in La Jolla.

From public art to those available to hang on your own wall, the breadth of perspectives on art in La Jolla are plentiful and inspiring. Whatever your style, read on for a robust catalog of La Jolla’s creativity.

Street arts 

Art Is Good For You, Michael Mercil. 7777 Girard Ave., facing Silverado Street. 

A tour of art in La Jolla often starts with the street view, as the Murals of La Jolla program exists to commission large-scale works of art to enhance the public’s aesthetic experience. Currently, 15 murals are on view throughout La Jolla, with more planned on a rotating basis.

In addition to the Murals of La Jolla program, living in and visiting La Jolla means finding occasional murals around corners and in buildings, from the historical Wing Howard mural “The Whale’s Last Stand,” preserved and hung in four pieces within the recently-renovated Whaling Bar to a brand-new mural painted by students with Amadeo Bachar’s help at a local school.

Culture chalk

Not yet sated by public art? La Jolla has much more, ensconced in historical buildings throughout The Village.

Try the expansive Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, which recently reopened after a massive, multi-year renovation effort.

The building itself is an art form, converted and reimagined from the original Prospect Street home designed for La Jolla benefactress Ellen Browning Scripps by famed architect Irving Gill.

Robert Irwin, ‘Spanish Fan’, 1995. MCASD garden.

MCASD boasts 105,000 square feet of space in a multi-level building housing galleries for the extensive collection and special exhibitions, event spaces, a garden and more.

Just down Prospect Street is the La Jolla Historical Society, housed in Scripps’ sister Virginia’s former cottage and host to several exhibitions, a comprehensive archive of La Jolla history, educational programs and more.

On Wall Street, The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library welcomes members and the public alike to peruse its collection including books, periodicals, reference materials, compact discs, DVDs, sheet music and librettos, along with rotating exhibitions.

Where credit is hue

Interest in gawking at the local artistry and curated showrooms in La Jolla will draw you into one of our dozens of galleries. 

Try Krista Schumacher Art for local seascapes, L&G Projects for contemporary sculpture, the Ian Ely Gallery for fine art photography, Quint Gallery for contemporary art or Authentic Vintage Posters.  

Any stroll around Bird Rock, The Shores or The Village will reveal the endless showcase of art galleries, so hit the road!

A draw deal

The reason galleries and studios are plentiful in La Jolla is natural inspiration. Edna Pines, a La Jolla resident and contemporary and abstract artist whose studio on Fay Ave, finds her muse to be the sea, the sky and everything in between. 

When Pines struggles to initiate new work, she leaves her Fay Avenue studio for the shoreline, watching the birds, observing the flowers and minding her senses. 

“The way nature interacts with earth … helps you ground yourself to the beauty that surrounds you,” she said.

A woman whose family fled Iran after the 1979 revolution, Pines sees her art as “reflections on the journey of healing and being resilient through the waves,” she said, calling the ocean “a good friend that pulls you in warmly and gently” at times but then will unexpectedly “throw you back out.”

Sketched in stone

Further outside The Village, the entire UC San Diego campus is a showroom for the Stuart Collection, curated since 1983 to display more than 20 public art pieces, from a “Fallen Star” house seeming to perch precariously on an engineering building, the Sun God sculpture, “Kahnop,” and 800-foot walkway from the trolley station and more.

Breaking the mold

Craving more architecture for your canvas? Take a gander at the many examples of form and function built to last, as La Jolla is long on various architectural styles that serve purposes from science to habitability, such as the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, UCSD’s Geisel Library and more.  

Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.
Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Everything happening in La Jolla, sent right to your inbox!

Follow & Subscribe

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Everything happening in La Jolla, sent right to your inbox!

Enjoying our content?

Your contribution helps support our small local team of journalists in continuing to bring you quality content and news about La Jolla.
ADVERTISEMENT

Recommended Posts

Most Popular

Follow & Subscribe

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Everything happening in La Jolla, sent right to your inbox!

Enjoying our content?

Your contribution helps support our small local team of journalists in continuing to bring you quality content and news about La Jolla.
ADVERTISEMENT

Most Popular

All News Categories

What's new in La Jolla?

Stay connected with regular updates on all things La Jolla, CA

Join your fellow La Jolla enthusiasts and get the latest local news stories, exciting events, inspiring roundups for the top things to do, the best eats in town, new businesses, plus exclusive subscriber-only deals.

Get the latest local news stories, see upcoming events, top activities and restaurants, plus exclusive subscriber-only deals.

Join your fellow La Jolla enthusiasts and get the latest local news stories, exciting events, inspiring roundups for the top things to do, the best eats in town, new businesses, plus exclusive subscriber-only deals.