A Little Help From Our Friends

Art Expressions of San Joaquin T - Shirt Design By Nancy Buckenham

We all need a little help from our friends.  The arts are no exception.  The arts give us so much – ways to express ourselves, beauty, activities to enjoy.  It is time to give back to the arts.

How you can help –

Keep your eyes and ears open for the arts in Stockton and attend when you can. Stockton is full of art events every week.  Think Stockton first. Visitstockton.org has the best events calendar I know.  You can also read the Stockton Record and walk the Miracle Mile to see the latest event posters in store windows.  The arts need an audience of people, like you, to appreciate them and keep them strong.

If you want to do more and have the time, volunteer.  Volunteers are always needed at art events because nothing happens alone.  More hands make lighter work.

If you have the money, give to the arts.  There are always fundraisers going on. Whirlow’s on the Mile helps groups raise money all the time. Check their website to learn more.  The ArtSplash could benefit from its own display racks (each rack costs about $100)/contact me if you want to contribute.  Currently Art Expressions of San Joaquin is trying to raise $300 to purchase a portable sound system with their T – shirt campaign.  Eruch Dah also needs his own sound system to run open mic events at Janet Leigh Plaza. He can be reached on FB.

If you can’t give money, you can give supplies.  The Draw It Out wish flag project could use cotton sheets, acrylic paint and spools of ribbon (at least 3/8” wide) to continue to offer wish flag making throughout Stockton/contact me if you have supplies to donate.

If you think that the arts add to your life, please look for opportunities to give back.

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Give And Take


Something Borrowed intrigued me once again. Style Swap was its latest venture.  Everyone who participated, including myself, dropped off a bag of at least 5 clothing/accessory items that were clean and in good condition prior to the event.

The Style Swap took place at Huddle, 235 N. San Joaquin Street, on Saturday from 6 pm – 9 pm with attendees (about 50) paying $10 at the door to get a bag to fill with fashion.  There was free wine tasting and low priced snacks, free consultations from Lux salon (on the Miracle Mile) about new hairstyles and common hair care needs, even giving some guests bangs. Members of the Delta College fashion club were available to make alterations and though there were no takers they were able to spread the word about the fashion program.

The room was set up like a store with everything on display racks labeled according to type. Dressing rooms and full length mirrors were provided to assist participants in making the best selections.

A raffle prize, worth over $80 (a limited edition ‘affirmation tote’ bag by NY designer and vintage enthusiast, Sammy Davis with a bottle of Zinfandel and L’Oreal hair care products) went to Miriam.

Amy Sieffert, Something Borrowed’s owner, hopes to hold another Style Swap with even more guests now that everyone has found out how much fun it is. She says that the Style Swap was an affordable, fun night out, and a great way to make new friends and business connections and that Huddle is just what Stockton needs – a casual and inviting environment where local start-ups can flourish, and a great space for holding events and conferences.

Unclaimed clothing (about 20 bags) is being donated to the Women’s Center – Youth & Family Services.

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A Day Of Art Exploration

Last Saturday my husband and I started the day volunteering at the Draw It Out wish flag booth at Family Day At The Park held at University Park.  We remarked how much the event has grown since we first took our neighbor to it when it was held at Victory Park.

Family Day is a day when everyone can become a kid.  Balloon decorations are everywhere you look.  My favorite part of Family Day is the opening Mascot Parade.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu9dYSZQTgc  This year the event offered free books and shirts, a used book sale to benefit the Friends of the Library, authors signing their books, an obstacle course and rope bridge, stages of performers, a booth where you could play musical instruments, a variety of arts and crafts including tissue paper flowers and wish flags to make and Little Free Libraries to paint, a bubble station, train rides, food and much more.

After Family Day we went to the Little Manila area of Stockton (south of the Crosstown Freeway) and checked addresses for buildings of importance to Filipino history to give to Jon Quinones, a local photographer/artist who wants to make art cards for Stockton’s new Filipino Museum opening soon on Weber Avenue.

We stopped by Janet Leigh Plaza to see an open mic performance arranged by Eruch Dah. Look for future open mic events on Saturday evenings.  Then we delivered an application for the upcoming art exhibit at the Mexican Heritage Center.

We ended the evening at the Loki Rhythm CD Release Party for their new album Eternal Rhythm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkpyB1aY6s4 at the Breadfruit Tree Restaurant, 8095 Rio Blanco Road, listening to music by the water and viewing murals by James Bell covering the restaurant walls as we waited for our bread pudding to be served – a day in the life of an artist.

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Labors Of Love

Plein air artist, muralist, pastel artist, painter, pianist, teacher, volunteer and friend are all words that describe Dolly Sellars, the featured artist for September at the Goodwin Gallery. Dolly’s work has been shown to great acclaim taking high honors wherever she exhibits.

Dolly creates art with many subjects – landscapes, seascapes and portraits.  Her most unique technique is painting on leaves. Dolly gets inspiration from a variety of locations for her plein air (outdoor) creations.  In a single day outdoor art show at Stockton’s Historic Pollardville, she produced multiple works.

Her murals can be seen on the Goodwin Gallery and on the emergency exit doors of the Fox Theatre on San Joaquin where she was part of a four artist team that included Orlando Lopez of AirRaid Airbrush and two Weber Institute students she mentored. The San Joaquin Street Murals were funded in part by the Stockton Arts Commission.

Dolly has been my go-to volunteer participating in First Night Stockton (a family friendly New Year’s Eve Celebration with the arts) for four years when I served as its visual art coordinator – demonstrating pastels and painting at the SEIU building by Hunter Square and the Civic Auditorium and leading a community mural activity with fellow muralist James Bell.

Other volunteer activities Dolly has enjoyed are demonstrating art at the San Joaquin County Fair and playing piano with Sunflower Presents to people living in convalescent hospitals, assisted living facilities, and retirement homes.

Dolly has spent a lifetime giving herself to the arts.  Take a moment to get to know the work of Dolly Sellars, one of Stockton’s most giving artists, by visiting her exhibit through the end of September at the Goodwin Gallery, 1902 Pacific Ave., open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm.

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What’s In Store?

Glass Mosaic Artist Kristi Halva brings her work to the Haggin Museum Store tomorrow, September 18 at 6 pm.  Kristi will be demonstrating how to make mosaic art and offering her work for sale.  It is free to visit the museum store but for regular admission ($8) you can hear trumpet music at 7 pm and enjoy snacks as part of the Third Thursday event.

I first saw Kristi’s work at the Lodi Art Hop.  In May, she exhibited at the Summer ArtSplash. It is fitting that Kristi shows her work at the Haggin store during the 58th Stockton Art League Juried Exhibition At The Haggin which runs through September 28 since Kristi has displayed her mosaics at the Stockton Art League Goodwin Gallery in the past.

Kristi Halva Glass Mosaic Tile At The Samantha Williams Memorial Garden

For more of Kristi’s mosaic art, visit the Samantha Williams memorial garden at St. Peter Lutheran School and Church in Lodi.  The mosaic tile she made to honor her friend lies below a gazebo covered with vines and flowers.

Future Events At The Haggin Store

Mat Falls, co-founder of Sideshow Collectibles, will be in the store to coincide with the exhibition Heroes & Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross during Haggin á la Carte on Saturday, October 18 at 6 pm.

The Holiday Open House takes place on Saturday & Sunday, November 1 & 2 from noon to 5 pm. Enjoy light refreshments as you view the beautiful holiday décor and gifts for the season. There is a Members Only Preview from 10 am – noon on Saturday, November 1.

Come see work by talented local jewelry makers Rebekah Burr-Siegel, Lee Kirkland and Ronna Taylor during the Holiday Jewelry Event on Thursday, December 4 starting at 5:15 pm.  Take this opportunity to buy one-of-a-kind pieces for your holiday gifts. Free gift wrap included.

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From Food Truck To ArtSplash

I found the art of  Chevan You, who joins the ArtSplash, on the side of a Food Truck at the Food Truck Frenzy. Erin Odessa, noted performer, shows her artistic side – paintings and mobiles. Both will be at the Elk’s Building tonight.

Food Truck Art By Chevan You

Summer ArtSplash Tonight

Friday, September 12, 5pm – 8 pm

Mexican Heritage Center 111 S. Sutter Street

Tres Amigos Exhibit – Acrylic, oil, graphite and ink/ball point pen, ink on paper and American tattoo art are represented by Ricardo Cardenas, Thomas James Armendariz and Francisco Reyes.

Kress Lobby 20 N. Sutter Street

Artwork By Vi Nakamura, Deanna Riddell, Liz Campbell, Gail Lynne Amo,

Angela Bardot and Andrew Puentes.

Elk’s Building 42 N. Sutter

2nd floor patio –

Art By Ismael Qadree and Bella

My name is Chevan You. Art has always been a hobby of mine since my childhood. My art style is made up of cartoons, video games, and comic book characters.

Bree makes lovely hair accessories – flamboyant, big ones and subtle, small ones… mostly from spun fibers.

Erin Odessa – Paintings (crochet and paint on wood and canvas), Driftwood mobiles with laser cut wood medallions and sparkly, reclaimed findings.  Erin will also sing during the event.

4th floor -

Cafe Coop organization hosts ArtSplash in the Elks building

Artwork By Dawn Rogers And Don Aguilar

San Joaquin Pride Center 109 N. Sutter Street

Jonathan Joint – newsprint political cartoons and comic book pop art

San Joaquin County Administration Building 44 N. San Joaquin Street

Art Expressions of San Joaquin Member Exhibit, Featured Artists Arturo Vera and Nancy Buckenham, Ballet Folklorico Raices Mexicanas will perform at approx. 5:45 pm and guitarist Jesse Hendricks will begin at 6 pm. Note: this venue closes at 7 pm

Chalk Art At The Regal Cineplex Dome, 222 N. El Dorado

Art Table With Drawing Supplies For You To Draw A Picture To Take Home, Janet Leigh Plaza 222 N. El Dorado

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Art Break Day

Last year I discovered Art Break Day, a day where people gather throughout the world to make art for free. The Art Break Day message “art is an essential part of a healthy community and everyone deserves access to it” resonated with me so I contacted the founders of the non-profit Art Is Moving, that conceived Art Break Day in 2011, to register Victory Park as an Art Break Day site.

A wide variety of people came to the first Art Break Day in Stockton, about 100 in all – couples, singles, parents with children, seniors, developmentally disabled, friends, skilled artists and those just wanting to have fun.  What touched me was how grateful everyone was for the opportunity to gather and make art.

Art Break Day returns to Stockton tomorrow Friday, September 5 from 9 am – 5 pm at the Janet Leigh Plaza by the downtown Cineplex.  The theme for this year is “I Wish.”  I have invited the Cleveland School Remembers Draw It Out wish flag project to be part of Art Break Day to tie into the “I Wish” theme.

There will be three tents of artmaking supplies for the public to use – a tent where participants can make a wish flag sharing wishes for what would make neighborhoods better and two tents with painting and drawing supplies to create works on paper.  Draw It Out asks that wish flags be left behind to be added to the wish flag collection for display in Stockton.  Other art pieces made may be taken home or left to be given away.

Bring a friend and spend part of Friday making art at Art Break Day Stockton at Janet Leigh Plaza.

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Festival Week

UOP hosts the 33rd annual Labor Day weekend Pow Wow through 6 pm today at the lawn north of the Wendell Phillips Center (WPC) off Stagg Way. Participate in this rich expression of Native American culture with intertribal songs and dances shared to the beat of the drum, arts, crafts, foods, and more.


Spend Labor Day (tomorrow) at the 46th annual Black Family Day, a free event from 10am – 7pm, at Weber Point Events Center (entrance at Center and Miner). Stockton Black Family Day is a day of reflection, renewal and pride – a moment in time taken to appreciate the African American experience, inclusive of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, and orientations, as nothing is more comforting than the hand of a friend. This year’s theme is “Honoring Our Ancestors.” The 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act will also be commemorated.

Start the morning with a health/exercise session for both youth and adults. On site registration takes place between 8am – 8:45am with yoga and line dancing from 9am – 10 am.  Registration is required to participate. A free continental breakfast is available for the first 50 people that register.

Black Family Day Highlights – a Children’s Pavilion, Gospel Explosion, Health & Wellness Expo, and ongoing performances.  There will also be food, clothing, jewelry, books, artifacts, and art for sale.


End the week at the 55th annual Greek Festival at St. Basil’s Church, 920 March Lane, Friday, Sept. 5, through Sunday, Sept. 7 from noon to 8 p.m.  Don’t miss your chance to explore Greek culture through its food, music and dance and shop at the outdoor marketplace. Admission is $2, free for children accompanied by adults.

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The Road Less Traveled

Last Saturday had an abundance of events featuring the arts to keep in mind for next year. – the Stockton Pride Festival, Reggae on the Delta, Red Shoes and Salsa (August 23 blog), Orange and Black Ball, and the Annual Picnic at Kennedy Park.

A little about the events – the Pride Festival included lots of entertainment, food, exhibits, a letter writing campaign advocating gay marriage and murals that reflect on the colors found in the LGBT Pride flag.  The Reggae Fest, which just celebrated its 24th year, was a real party with Caribbean food, music and dancing all with a delta view. The Orange and Black Ball at UOP was an elegant dinner dance fundraiser with everyone dressed in beautiful hues of orange and black.

I considered what to do and having been to most of the other events before I chose to attend a free all day event that was new to me – the Annual Picnic at Kennedy Park (near Pock Lane in South Stockton) sponsored by Ministers and Community United Inc.

My husband and I arrived in the afternoon.  There were covered picnic tables and tents around a large open patio space.  We were greeted warmly and asked if we were hungry and given tickets for a barbecue lunch with ribs, chicken, hotlinks, hotdogs, potato salad, chili beans and punch.  A game of musical chairs was underway.  Afterwards people were invited to join the domino tournament.  Music filled the air. Everyone was friendly and smiling.

The highlight of the day came when the peach cobbler cookoff was judged and yummy peach cobbler was served. Progressive Community Church’s gospel line dancers encouraged participation.  Watermelon was handed out along with raffle prizes.  We felt welcomed by all.  Stockton has so much to offer.  Make the most of whatever you choose.

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Poetry At The Empresso

Words For Wednesdays at the Empresso Coffeehouse, 1825 Pacific, moves to the second and fourth Friday of the month at 7:30 pm.  The Empresso comes alive tonight with the sounds of local talent.  Come listen to poetry or share your own.  Members of Stockton’s Brave New Voices team made up of spoken word artists from With Our Words, a group formed to change the lives of Stockton youth through words, will be in attendance with new work.  For date changes and added events check Words For Wednesdays – on Fridays on FB or call the Empresso.

More About Brave New Voices -

Brave New Voices, an annual international youth poetry slam festival, was created by Youth Speaks, Inc. in 1998. Youth Speaks Inc. believes that the power, insight, creativity, and passion of young people can change the world. These young writers are a diverse, creative, intelligent group of trendsetting community and cultural leaders. They come to Brave New Voices each year not only to compete, but also to attend world-class workshops led by renowned poets and writers, participate in youth development programs, and highlight the voices of a new generation of leadership.

More About Words For Wednesday Flier Artist Tiffany Pech –

I first met Tiffany when she participated in the University Neighborhood Renaissance Committee chalk festival in 2010.  I asked Tiffany to draw the Casa Flores logo for the chalk square sponsor.  Tiffany created a wonderful cartoon version of the logo showing her skill as an artist (photo above).

Tiffany continues to pursue her artistic talent.  Her art can be seen on the walls of the Empresso, where she is a barista, and the Words For Wednesday flier (at top of blog). Stop by and support a local artist.

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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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