A World Of Dance

Souls Of The Rising Sun Performance At The Downtown Transit Center

Lavish costumes, swirling colors, acrobatics and the pageantry of dance are all part of Cirque du Soleil Varekai at the arena this weekend.  You will be mesmerized by the spectacle. For tickets link here.

World Wind is this year’s dance production at Delta College.  Combining talent from SF, Lodi, Tracy and Stockton this show addresses selected events or issues that have led to change.  The performances take place today and tomorrow at the Atherton at 8 pm. Tickets are $10 for students/seniors and $12 for adults.

The Asparagus Festival comes to the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds this weekend. The festival is open today from 2 pm – 8 pm, Saturday 10 am – 8 pm and Sunday 10 am – 6 pm.  Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for teens and $5 for children.  Seniors, college students and military admission is $7.

A highlight of the festival is the community stage with local entertainment including CA Soul Line Dancers (3 pm today), Souls of the Rising Sun (4 pm today and 11 am on Sunday), Mercy Housing Gleason Park Electric Violin Ensemble (4:45 pm today), Unique Visions Dance Company (11 am Saturday), Ballet Folklorico Raices Mexicanas (1 pm Saturday and Sunday), Los Danzantes Del Puerto (3 pm Saturday), Cesar Chavez High School Choir (4:15 pm Saturday), Inspiring Hope Community Dancers (5pm Saturday), Gypsy Phoenix Belly Dancers (7 pm Saturday), West Coast Finest Soul Line Dancers (3 pm Sunday), Starlight Studios (4 pm Sunday) and more.

In closing, the Cambodian New Year Festival takes place this weekend (Friday – Sunday, 7:30 am – 10 pm) at 3732 Carpenter Rd.  Free admission and parking, donations appreciated.  See the beautifully decorated temple, enjoy delicious food, music and dance.

Dance, in its many forms, brings us together through storytelling, movement and celebration.  Let it take you to new places this year.

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National Library Week

Delta College hosts a series of events at the Stockton campus during National Library Week.  Today and tomorrow is the annual Book Sale in the Goleman Library from 8 am – 3 pm. Most items are $1 today with other deals tomorrow. Don’t miss picking up the new issue of Artifact Nouveau, Delta College’s literary publication by the Writer’s Guild.  Proceeds from the Book Sale support the Writer’s Guild and Friends of the Library, both groups on campus.

On Wednesday, April 15, the Book Swap is being held in Danner Hall from 8 am – 2 pm.  Take a break from tax day and get something for free.  On Thursday, April 16, the Writer’s Guild hosts a poetry reading in the Goleman Library from 1:30 – 3 pm.  Hear students, faculty and published poets share their work.

And finally on Friday, April 17, the campus comes alive with “Pathways to Books,” your favorite titles and lines from literature chalked everywhere.  See what you can find.

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Sustainability Month

April is sustainability month at the University of the Pacific.  Tonight UOP hosts the Wild and Scenic Film Festival known as one of the best environmental film festivals in the country. The free event will be held in the Biological Sciences Building, 3401 N. Kensington Way, Room 101.

A reception starts at 7 pm followed by a series of films from 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm (Spaceship Earth Passenger Briefing, A Line in the Sand, I Heard, Tahoe Time 1.5, Dream, World Beyond the World, I am Red, The Story of Place, Harvest of Shadows and California: Paradise Burning then a Q & A with its filmmaker, Matt Black and intermission. Two films (Elk Grass and Drawn) conclude the program from 9:15 pm – 10 pm.

Other sustainability events –

The 5th annual Green Fashion Show is looking for designers to make clothing items and accessories from sustainable materials – organic/local textiles, plants, upcycled thrift store finds, recyclables etc. Deadline to submit your application is April 15.  Note: The fashion show takes place on April 24 from 8 pm – 10 pm in the Long Theatre.

Carolyn Finney, assistant professor of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, and author of Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors will be speaking about how issues of difference impact environmental decision making on April 15 in the Grace Covell Hall, 6:30 pm reception, talk starts at  7 pm.

Celebrate John Muir’s birthday on April 21 at the DeRosa University Center from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm.  Take a photo with a life size John Muir, eat Scottish Dundee cakes and discover what Muiring activities students, faculty and staff have taken part in.  Have a favorite photo of you enjoying the outdoors that you would like to share? Send your photos to SustainingPacific@pacific.edu

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First InstaWalk Tomorrow

Tomorrow, April 4 at 11:45 am, bring your smartphones, cameras and fun props (be creative) to InstaMeet 4 on the steps of the Haggin Museum, 1201 N. Pershing for a group photo.  At noon, take advantage of the free admission day at the museum and go inside for a brief photo tour (no flash allowed).

Then join the group (at about 12:20 pm) for the first Stockton instaWalk (a casual walking tour taking instagram photos, #StocktonCAinstaWALK) from the Haggin traveling north on Pershing, crossing the street and walking on Vernal Way, left on Yosemite to American Legion Park, east on Walnut to the Empresso Coffeehouse (1825 Pacific Ave) at the corner of Walnut and Pacific for a selection of beverages including coffee samples and a photo challenge (a creative selfie with your coffee).

Instagrammers are encouraged to explore the Miracle Mile and take photos.  There are several murals on the Mile (on the side of the Goodwin Gallery at Maple and Pacific, next to the Midtown Creperie and across from Baskin Robbins at Adams and Pacific).  What else can you discover?  Mile Wine (2113 Pacific Ave) will be choosing four Instagrammers to win $25 restaurant gift cards. Please register for the event here.


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Free Movie Screening Today

In conjunction with Women’s History month, highlighting women’s contributions to society, and Women In Art – Herstories currently on exhibit at the Horton Gallery through March 27, a free movie screening is being presented today at Delta College’s Tillie Lewis Theatre at 12:30 pm.

The film, !Women Art Revolution, by Writer/Director Lynn Hershman Leeson shares interviews with artists, historians, curators and critics that shaped the Feminist Art Movement revealing strategies that integrated women artists into the modern day world of art.  The event includes a spoken word performance by UOP student, Jazmarie LaTour.

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Drawing Workshop With Robert Kelley

Tonight, at 6 pm, is the start of a two part drawing workshop with Robert Kelley, a master portrait artist who studied at the Academy of Art in SF.  The workshop takes place at the Art Expressions of San Joaquin Gallery, 304 Lincoln Center (behind Domo’s next to Bliss Bridal Salon) and costs $25 in advance or $30 at the door for both classes. Live models provided.

If you have been wanting to learn how to draw or perfect your drawing techniques don’t miss this opportunity. Class size is limited to 15 people. The workshop concludes next Tuesday, March 31.

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Church Art Exhibits

I am always looking for new places to experience art beyond the usual galleries and museums.  When I heard about this weekend’s art exhibits at area churches I felt inspired. Churches, with their soaring architecture often incorporating stained glass and religious art objects, already have a connection with the arts.  Their spaces offer the perfect backdrop for the display of art.

This weekend local photographer, Arturo Vera, and the group he founded, Art Expressions of San Joaquin, fulfills his longtime goal of a religious exhibit. Members of the group present art with the theme of “Reflecting” coinciding with the Lent season. Today’s exhibit will be at the Cathedral of Annunciation, 400 W Rose St., in the choir room from 5 pm – 8pm. Tomorrow, art will be on display at the Central United Methodist Church, 3700 Pacific Ave. (across from UOP) from 9am to 1pm.  Both exhibits are free and open to the public with complimentary snacks and beverages.

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The Year Of The Ram


If you have been wondering where I have been my husband and I just returned from Vancouver, British Columbia to see their Chinese New Year Parade.  The days before the parade featured the Lunar Fest outside the Vancouver Art Gallery near where we were staying with food, performances, hands-on art, painted rams and an opportunity to adopt lighted rams that were laid out on the grounds.

The Chinatown parade included an entire day of festivities.  It was exhilarating seeing people packed along the route for ten blocks.  I most enjoyed the dragons and lion dancers, fan dancers and ribbon twirlers and the bagpipe bands. Afterwards lion dancers blessed the businesses accompanied by drums and firecrackers.  The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden offered a  free day of activities – art, music, games and displays and Chinatown’s International Village Mall had stage performances and vendors with ram themed items.

Back home the Chinese Cultural Society of Stockton presented another successful Chinese New Year event.  A year of planning, preparation and lots of volunteer hours lead up to this special day every year.

The grand marshal and Citizen of the Year was Blanche Ah-Tye born in the Year of the Ram (1919).  Stockton Art League artist Denny Ah-Tye noted of his aunt, “I see her as that person always behind the scenes for most of the Chinese events…a worker bee who coordinates and sees to it that the job is done and done right.”

The auditorium was filled with new banners signifying, “Orioles sing farewell to the previous year, swallows dance to welcome the new year” made by Dr. Jun Wang, last year’s Citizen of the Year, and her husband Yu Ren Ma.  Generous support made it possible to bring in professional performers while Blanche Ah-Tye was on hand to sign her memoir, “Full of Gold.”

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Friday Receptions

Image-Nation is a group exhibition with over thirty artists at the Mexican Heritage Center, 111 S. Sutter (corner of Market and Sutter) through February 28. “From the novice to the master, from the traditional to the digital, this exhibit runs the gamut.  Inspired by contemporary influences, cultural perspectives, and deep traditions, these artists have one thing in common, a yearning to create and be seen.” Come meet the artists and view their work at the opening reception this Friday, February 13, from 5:30 pm – 7 pm. The Image-Nation exhibition is sponsored by Danny Correa of Hunter & Loan Jewelry Co.

Spotlight Artist

Crystal Rosales, age 16, is a self-taught artist who began drawing in kindergarten. By age 9, she was creating characters and story boards practicing every step over and over to reach higher levels.

After drawing, she took up painting with acrylics using reference items to paint. At 14, Crystal started using watercolors.  By this time she had gained more experience and was able to apply anything she could imagine to canvas.

Her main themes are scenes with people and backgrounds such as wind, space or fantasy.  She often looks in the mirror and poses incorporating her features into her art.

Crystal is always striving to improve, making art every day even if it is just a small sketch. When she finishes a piece she finds so much more that she could have done with it. Her goal is to become a comic artist and sell her work.  Image-Nation is Crystal’s first art exhibit.


While downtown, visit the “Hearts” reception with art by members of Art Expressions of San Joaquin and live music by Carlos Lopez at the County Administration Building, 44 N. San Joaquin St. (corner of San Joaquin and Weber), from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

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Bus Jam

Khemya Dances To Music With "Souls of the Rising Sun" At The Summer ArtSplash

What does Stockton have in common with San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Paris?  More than you might think.  Terry Williams, who works in Marketing for the San Joaquin Regional Transit District, was inspired by artists he encountered at public transit stations and on board public transit so much so that he brought the idea to Stockton.

Since last October there have been eight music events (or bus jams as I like to call them) on Stockton’s express buses in conjunction with RTD’s 50th anniversary.  A variety of musicians have played including jazz musicians Brian Clark (Bass), Chad Deacon (Sax), and Sean Britt (Guitar) from the University of the Pacific; Snap Jackson and the Knock on Wood Players with Shane Kalbach on guitar and Lexie Kalbach on vocals and Brian Clark; Benjamin Vogel, Jimmy Kraft, Quentin Purviance; a string duo with Robin Roulet and Shane Kalbach; and a string trio with Shane Kalbach on violin, Robin Roulet on violin, and Eric Urbina on cello.

Why schedule these events? Terry says, “Here was a way RTD could enhance the ride for our existing passengers, perhaps entice a few new ones to get on board, and promote the work of local artists from our community.” Even the Stockton Arts Commission is getting involved by helping RTD discover new local talent.

If you would like to join the fun, the next bus jam is scheduled for this Tuesday, February 10th with the “Souls of the Rising Sun” (Khemya MitRahina, Dontell Ramirez and Jairo Ambriz) drumming, dancing and singing traditional folk songs of the African Diaspora on board the #44 bus loading at 2:33pm at the Downtown Transit Center (DTC) arriving back at the DTC at 3:10 pm.

Want to learn African dance and drumming?  Khemya is offering classes during the month of April at Delta College. Sign up at Delta Community Education.

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    Joy Neas

    My life is all about art – appreciating it, studying it, making it, sharing it, promoting it and preserving it. My goal, as an artist, is to help people look at the world in new ways encouraging everyone to experience the beauty that exists all ... Read Full
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