October Observances Part 1

Scene From "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf" At The Podesto Teen Impact Center

I thought October was only for celebrating Halloween but the month has many observances including Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Filipino American History Month.

Jen Primous, the founder of P.U.M.P.S. FOR WOMEN, INC. a women’s society whose focus is on women’s empowerment and women’s issues, took the stage at the Domestic Violence Awareness Day held at the Podesto Teen Impact Center on October 11.  She introduced the event as more than entertainment or something meant to discourage.

Jen organized the day to offer hope, support and empowerment leading to action and taking control of your own life.  Her goal is to use her gifts/talents/resources and be an asset to our community, to support our community and more importantly assist in making a positive impact/set an example for women and generations to come.  Jen’s comments were followed by song (Mercadies Watson) and spoken word (Cruzita Whiteley) and a message from a life coach (Otha Mobbs) that said that people do what they see.

The play, “For Colored Girls…”, co-directed by Val Acoba and Jen Primous, delivered a powerful message of how lives can be tragically affected by violence.  This is a topic that touches us all – how we relate to each other, whether positively or negatively, and the choices we make.  A dance tribute concluded (Stasia Mobbs).

When I asked Judy Williamson, a Stockton Arts Commissioner who attended, to reflect about the play she said, “I thought they did a terrific job! Difficult material done extremely well – such an important topic – years ago when written – and even today! How far have we come, or not?”

The event made an impact because there was straight talk combined with all forms of art – music, song, dance, poetry and theater – not evading a sensitive topic but rather shining the light on it.

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Dia de Los Muertos Activities

For the second year Angelique Grivalja brings La Catrina Project to Stockton. The project, being funded by a grant from the Stockton Arts Commission, seeks to heighten cultural awareness in conjunction with Dia de Los Muertos through visual and performing arts education.

Free workshops are continuing through October 30.  Today there will be a workshop called “Honoring Our Ancestors” at the Podesto Teen Center, 725 North El Dorado from 6 pm – 8 pm.  This workshop is repeated on October 24, same time and place.

Tomorrow Angelique leads a dance workshop called “At the Hop” at the Mexican Heritage Center, 111 S. Sutter from noon – 1:30 pm followed by sugar skull making from 2 pm – 4 pm. These workshops will be repeated on October 25, same time and place.

On October 21 there will be a clay scenes with skeletons workshop at the Podesto Teen Center from 4 pm – 6 pm. This workshop will be repeated on October 23, same time and place.

An Aztec dance workshop takes place at the Mexican Heritage Center on October 22 from 4 pm – 5 pm and on October 29, same time and place.  A clay finishes workshop will be held on October 28 at the Podesto Teen Center from 4 pm – 6 pm and a final clay workshop on October 30, same time and place.

This year the project goes beyond workshop experiences to offering a Children’s Memory Portrait Competition, a free contest for students to create portraits with a short story in honor of someone special who has died (Announcing an art contest from La Catrina Project(1) (1)) and a closing Carnivale de Catrina, Dia de Los Muertos Festival at DeCarli Square on Sunday, November 2 from 2 pm – 6 pm starting with a sidewalk procession from the Podesto Teen Center at 1 pm.

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Music On The Mile

It is hard to believe that it was last October that I attended the Tuleburg Press Launch Party at Mile Wine, a new restaurant on the Miracle Mile. On October 4th of this year, Mile Wine celebrated its 1st anniversary with a restaurant packed with well wishers including my husband and I.  Music was provided by Wendi Maxwell and the Tres Hot Jazz Band. Congratulations to owners Paul and Cindi Marsh!!!

The Miracle Mile continues to be the place for live music in Stockton – Whiskey Barrel Tavern (151 W Alder St), Whirlow’s (1926 Pacific Ave), Mile Wine (2113 Pacific Ave), Valley Brewing Company (157 W Adams St) and Ave On The Mile (2333 Pacific Ave). Links are provided to learn more.

This week’s music schedule at Mile Wine is Thurs: Dan MacDonnell, Fri: Red Hot Faux Gitane, Sat: Wendi Maxwell & Tres Hot Jazz Band. “Stop in and discover what our exposed-brick-and-salvaged-wood temple to offbeat wines, craft beer, great food, and jazz music has to offer.”

The UOP Homecoming Parade returns to the Miracle Mile this Saturday at 1pm and can be viewed from the Mile Wine patio. A special brunch menu will be served starting at 10am. Call 209-465-9463 to make reservations. Watch all the floats and fun while dining on some delicious food.

Saturday night Mike and Lisa Whirlow, the owners of Whirlow’s, are being honored with the Comet Award at the Stockton Arts Commission 37th Annual Arts Awards at the Civic Auditorium at 5:30 pm. Tickets are $40. An awards after party for Mike and Lisa starts at 7 pm at Whirlow’s.

“The Comet Award honors one who has demonstrated an inspiring, enthusiastic, and innovative promotion of the arts in the community in a relatively short term, but one we feel will be long lasting in effect.”

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Last ArtSplash Of The Year

Banner Detail From The Cleveland School Remembers Draw It Out Altar At The Mexican Heritage Center

The last ArtSplash of the year takes place tonight from 5pm – 8 pm.  Several highlights of tonight’s schedule include a new venue – St. John’s  - Halal food truck  - an open mic  - make an ArtSplash painting and Dia de los Muertos altars.

1. St. John’s Episcopal Church (316 N. El Dorado) Corner of Miner and El Dorado

Featuring music inside the church and art in the garden public space.  The Halal food truck will be parked by this venue.

2. Regal Dome (222 N. El Dorado)

Felicia Ruiz creates images from the new movie “Book of Life.” Art table with supplies to make your own drawing.

3. County Administration Building (44 N. San Joaquin Street)

Featured artists – Art Expressions’ member painters Sue LaMarr and Janice Freischlag. Entertainment by Loki Rhythm. Note: this venue closes at 7 pm.

4. San Joaquin Pride Center (109 N. Sutter Street)

Shannon Baker – contemporary and abstract art capturing emotions with color and shape

5. Elks Building (42 N. Sutter)

2nd floor patio – Open mic; Word-related visual art by Angela Bardot; Paula Treick DeBoard, the author of  The Mourning Hours and the new novel The Fragile World (releasing October 28). www.paulatreickdeboard.com

4th floor – Cafe Coop hosts ArtSplash in the Elks building -

Liz Martin – comic style art

Rey Vargas – illustration

Make an ArtSplash painting to take home.

6. Kress Lobby (20 N. Sutter Street)

Vi Nakamura creates wearable crochet

Gail Lynne Amo –  intense watercolor autumn landscapes and acrylic paintings in autumn themes.

Photography by Angela Bardot and Carlos Renteria

7. Mexican Heritage Center (111 S. Sutter Street) Dia de los Muertos Celebration of Life – Altars on display including the Cleveland School Remembers Draw It Out altar that reflects the evolving emotions that started with the shooting of our five children on January 17, 1989.  These five children have inspired hope and activism in our community.

Pink ribbons are by each venue.  The ArtSplash begins again in May 2015.

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Social Change Through The Arts

Some artists need to go beyond creating objects of beauty to using art to start conversations that lead to social change. Art and Social Change, the current exhibit at the Horton Gallery at Delta College, through November 6, examines economic, gender, LGBT, race, education and environmental concerns facilitating critical thinking and awareness of the issues.

An Art & Social Practice Lecture by Jen Delos Reyes, Associate Professor of the Art & Social Practice MFA Program at Portland State University will be held at noon today at Delta College’s Tillie Lewis Theatre with an opening reception for the exhibit tonight at the Horton Gallery from 5 pm – 7 pm.

Exhibition Juror Jen Delos Reyes hopes, “visitors will leave the exhibition inspired by the creative agency of the contributors and see how they can bring creativity as a strategy to address the complex social issues and struggles of our time.”

A highlight of the exhibit is The Art & Social Practice Workbook by Erin Charpentier and Travie Neelof with activities that the public can explore as a way to affect change of their own. Printouts of the text will be available at the exhibit or the workbook can be downloaded here.

If you are looking for other opportunities to create art that addresses social issues, the Art Against Violence exhibit is coming to Stockton’s Mexican Heritage Center at 111 S. Sutter in January 2015.   Art is needed that examines the causes, effects and solutions to violence especially gun violence. This exhibit was envisioned by the Cleveland School Remembers Draw It Out group (originators of the Stockton wish flag project) in their continuing effort to reduce gun violence.  To learn more about the exhibit and to download an application link here.  The deadline is December 12.

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Stockton Is Magnificent

The Stockton Is Magnificent festival was held for its fourth year last Saturday.  I will never forget the first event, one of the best days of my life – seeing everyone love Stockton and celebrate it as much as I do.  That year I arranged several art components including an art exhibit and Stockton Is Magnificent community mural on Adams Street across from Baskin Robbins by the Miracle Mile.

This year I photographed people making wish flags at the Draw It Out booth to be added to the total number collected for display throughout Stockton.

When I wondered why I didn’t see a lot of my friends walking around the festival my husband remarked that most of them were volunteering at booths – the Little Manila Foundation, the Filipino American National Historical Society (soon to open a Filipino Museum on Weber), Val Acoba with the Chinese Benevolent Association, the Friends of the Fox, Linda Derivi of Save Downtown Stockton Foundation, Erin Odessa with the Afternaps; Art Expressions of San Joaquin artists Angela Bardot and Arturo Vera; Angelique Grivalja, founder of La Catrina Project; Jagged Lines of the Imagination; author Richard Rios; Roy Hoggard (chess club enthusiast and this year’s festival poster designer) to name a few.

Some people ask how anyone can say that Stockton is magnificent but for Stockton lovers, like myself, it is easy to see – its historic downtown and miles of waterways; its cultural festivals and parades; its treasures like the University of the Pacific and the Miracle Mile but most of all its caring people.

Forbes declaring Stockton as “a miserable city” continues to be one of the best things that ever happened because it brought Stocktonians together resulting in advocacy groups and projects, like this festival, each adding even more to the already remarkable place that is Stockton.

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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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    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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