Tree Of Lights Tonight

Stockton’s holiday season starts tonight with the Hospice of San Joaquin 26th annual tree lighting at Delta College’s main entrance, 5151 Pacific, at 6 pm. The college likes to boast: “We believe Delta has the best holiday tree in Stockton!” The festivities include musical selections and refreshments culminating in a dazzling display of lights turned on by a local hospices services family.

Every light on the tree remembers and honors a loved one.  Names of those being honored surround the base of the tree.  Proceeds from dedicating a light help Hospice of San Joaquin provide care for the terminally ill and their families. For more info link here.

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San Joaquin Potter’s Guild Show

Ceramic Art By Glenda Burns

For as long as I can remember my husband and I have attended the annual Potter’s Guild show, an exhibit we look forward to every year. The show, celebrating its twenty first year, has evolved into the premier fine arts festival in the area featuring Northern California artists working in clay, glass, fiber, wood, metal, painting and photography.

The 2014 Fine Arts Festival sponsored by the San Joaquin Potter’s Guild is open today from 10 am – 4 pm at St. Basil’s Church, 920 W. March Lane.  To view the list of participating artists and photos of their work link here.  Don’t miss this chance to meet the artists and take something home.

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Holiday Store Grand Opening Tonight

Art Expressions of San Joaquin is having the Grand Opening of their holiday store, featuring the artwork of thirty local artists, tonight from 4 pm – 7 pm. Enjoy an evening of music by Loki Rhythm, refreshments and beautiful art.

The store is located at 304 Lincoln Center (between Beehive Hair Salon and Bliss Bridal across from Bud’s Seafood and Grill) open 7 days a week from 10 am – 6 pm through the end of December for your shopping convenience.

Make sure to stop by today or in the weeks ahead for a wonderful selection of one of a kind, handmade pieces to add to your collection or give to friends and family.

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Latinos In American Defense

Spend some time learning about the contributions of Latino veterans today, at the close of Veteran’s Day week. Latinos in American Defense is a first of its kind exhibit honoring veterans of Hispanic descent at the Mexican Heritage Center, 111 S. Sutter through the end of November. If you can’t make it today, the gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 pm.

Celebrate the courageous men and women in our community that have served in the military forces at this exciting and new historical exhibit. The exhibit features photos, clippings, art and memorabilia collected from area veterans and their families.  Honor their sacrifice by taking a moment to visit this groundbreaking exhibit.

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Utility Box Design Contest 2

The Downtown Utility Box Design Contest has returned. The theme is, “Artistic Illusions – Art Reflects Life” requesting designs that create an optical illusion of objects in 3-D. The contest is open to high school and college students.  Deadline for submission is Monday, November 17 at midnight.  Link here for details.

Highlighted Utility Box Design Contest Past Winner

Deanna Medek started art at a young age.  She developed her skills by drawing her favorite characters. Deanna knew if she wanted to get better she had to take classes so she began formal art instruction in middle school.

In high school Deanna focused on illustration, sculpture art, and digital art. At Delta College she is learning digital art, color and design, and sculpture art. Deanna now combines photoshop, illustrator, sculpting, and painting in her work.

Deanna’s accomplishments include – she helped paint the Charter House and McKinley Elementary School murals and was one of three winners in the first Utility Box design contest for her Chinese Culture Camp dragon design which she painted on the utility box on El Dorado across from French 25. Deanna also received a scholarship from the Tracy Art League and has created advertisement design for Sonic Revolution (a non-profit organization that hosts meet-ups and conventions with fellow Sonic fans).

I met Deanna at the Chinese Benevolent Association Culture Camp culminating performance in June where she created graphic art for the camp and produced its printed program.

In high school, Deanna realized art could be her career.  She is deciding whether to be an art teacher, comic creator, animator/illustrator or even starting her own business after she finishes her art degree.  Deanna says, “I’ll go wherever God takes me.”  I know Deanna will have great success because of her talent, determination and poise.

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Shop Local Artisans

Are you looking for that perfect gift? You will be sure to find something at the Jewelry Art And Gift Fair at Delta College’s Danner Hall today from 9 am until 2 pm. This annual event is presented by the fashion program and fashion club of Delta College and features local artisans showing a variety of items – jewelry, hair accessories, scarves, hand bags, totes, soaps and more. Take a moment to shop the Jewelry Art And Gift Fair and kick off the holiday season.

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Festival Of Honor

Tonight the spirit of Dia de los Muertos continues with the Festival of Honor at Pittman Charter School, 701 E. Park Street, from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. This cross cultural interpretation places Ofrendas (altars) honoring people and ideas throughout the school illustrating that in all cultures we honor with celebration.  The event includes mariachi music, dance performances and food for sale as a fundraiser. Pittman’s art teacher, Allison Savage Atas, began the annual festival to get families involved and raise community interest and commitment to the school.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to see the Cleveland School altar that was on display at the Mexican Heritage Center during October it will be part of tonight’s Festival of Honor celebration.  This altar remembers and celebrates the lives of the five children who were killed during the Cleveland School shooting in Stockton twenty five years ago. The altar also honors Janet Geng, a teacher who was wounded that day and since has died.  Janet became the founding director of the Children’s Museum of Stockton, her response to the tragedy.

The Cleveland School altar was created by Cleveland School Remembers and Draw It Out – two groups that formed to advocate against gun violence.   It features wish flags and banners Draw It Out members made with the tragedy in mind.

In Draw It Out’s continuing effort to use art to make change in Stockton, a presentation was made at last night’s city council meeting about the wish flag project and future goals that can be viewed here.  Go to the video for the 11/04/14 council meeting (15:27 – 26:00 minutes).

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Remembering Our Loved Ones

Dia de los Muertos, which takes place on November 1 and 2, is a time to remember and celebrate our loved ones who have gone before.  Today (November 1) is a day to honor the children.

Angelique Grivalja, grant recipient from the Stockton Art Commission for La Catrina Project, is offering a sugar skull class this morning from 10 am – 1 pm at the Children’s Museum, 402 W. Weber Avenue, free with regular admission ($6). Come early to get a spot.

Continue the day remembering our children at a special celebration at the Mexican Heritage Center, 111 S. Sutter from 2 pm – 5 pm.  Ongoing entertainment will be provided by youth.  There will be mask making, flower making, facepainting and more.  Donations of $5 per family or $2 per person are appreciated.  Food will be available for $1 per item. Don’t miss the community children’s altar where you can add a special memory of a beloved child and the Cleveland School altar that reflects the evolving emotions that started with the shooting of our five children on January 17, 1989.

Tomorrow join Angelique Grivalja at 1 pm at the Podesto Teen Impact Center (725 N El Dorado) for a procession to DeCarli Square (across from the downtown theater) where a Dia de los Muertos Festival (Carnivale de Catrina) will take place.

Entertainment includes music, song and dance (Aztec, hip hop, West African, folklorico, and modern). There will be a sugar skull exhibit by Team Charter school, Franklin High and La Catrina Project participants as well as memory portraits by Stockton students.  View traditional ofrendas including a community ofrenda, art by Peter Perez and interactive art.

While downtown this is the perfect time to see Book of Life (now playing at the Regal), sure to be a Dia de los Muertos classic.

"Book of Life" chalk drawing by Felicia Ruiz (October ArtSplash)

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October Observances Part 2

Larry Itliong, Forgotten Hero Of The United Farm Workers

I celebrated Filipino American History Month this October watching three films by Marissa Aroy at Delta College – The Recipe; Little Manila, Filipinos In California’s Heartland and The Delano Manongs, Forgotten Heroes Of The United Farm Workers which detailed Larry Itliong’s involvement.  The films were followed by a panel discussion and Q & A with filmmaker Marissa Aroy, Professors James Sobredo and Debra Louie, Johnny Itliong (son of Larry Itliong), moderated by Journalist Emil Guillermo.

During the discussion several points were made – We have to tell our own story and we need to learn from the past or it will be repeated.  My take away is all voices must be heard for the complete picture to emerge.

The Q & A questions/comments that stood out – one woman asked, “Why are the young not as passionate about the struggle?  Another man lamented that the Legionarios del Trabajo fraternal organization’s members were dying and few new members were joining. My friend Anita Bautista, an active member of the Filipino American National Historical Society Stockton Chapter, said that she and other elders are available to tell their stories because they know what happened.

Dillon Delvo, Little Manila Foundation co-founder, shared that the Little Manila After School Program that educates students about Filipino history has found a new home at the Little Manila Cultural Center (521 E. Main).  Once only available to Edison High students the program is now open to all high school and college students meeting on Mondays from 4:30 pm – 6 pm.  Adult dance classes take place at the center on Mondays from 6:30 pm – 8 pm and children’s dance classes are on Wednesdays from 5 pm – 7 pm.

Soon there will be a Filipino center and museum in Stockton. Why two?  Because the work is too great for just one.

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Halloween Happenings

Dodge the raindrops and come on out for a day of Halloween activities that are planned for tomorrow.  Children are invited to trick or treat at vendor’s booths at the last Downtown Farmer’s Market of the year (Main Street at the Bob Hope Theatre) and enter the annual Pumpkin Coloring Contest for ages 3 – 12 years old from 10 am – 1 pm.  Pumpkins and crayons will be provided. Prizes include a movie pass, Coldstone Creamery and Moo Moo’s Burger Barn gift cards.

If you want to stay dry, indoors at the Haggin Museum (1201 N. Pershing Avenue) is the place to be.  Check out the current exhibit Heroes and Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross.  Show up in costume and receive a treat bag.  Free admission for children under 10 accompanied by an adult. Museum hours are 1:30 pm – 5 pm.

Indoor trick or treating takes place at Sherwood Mall (5308 Pacific Ave) starting at 4pm, while supplies last, and Weberstown Mall (4950 Pacific Ave) starting at 5 pm, while supplies last.  At Sherwood Mall no masks are allowed on anyone over the age of 10 and at Weberstown Mall no masks are allowed on anyone over the age of 12.

If you want outdoor fun, make sure you attend the Fall Festival at the Downtown Transit Center (421 E. Weber) from 3 pm – 6 pm. This year’s festival features haunted buses, a bouncy slide, face painting, balloon twisting, trick or treating and carnival games for prizes. The festival is free to children 12 and under with $2 admission for ages 13 and up. A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to the United Way of San Joaquin County.

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