Get Pop – Cultured

Barnes and Noble hosts Get Pop – Cultured, a nationwide celebration of popular entertainment that runs now through August 10 with a variety of special events at participating stores.

Joker Poster

Today, from noon – 4 pm, at the Barnes and Noble at Weberstown Mall is DC Comics Spectacular with four storytimes every twenty minutes starting at 12:30 pm and special appearances by the Joker and Flash.  Artists Bella and Shane from Afinistar Entertainment will exhibit their artwork and be on hand to show you how to draw your favorite characters step by step.

Next Friday, August 1, the fun continues with Frozen Friday: Cool Off with Olaf starting at 7 pm. There will be special appearances by your favorite characters from Frozen, a sing-along, crafts and more.

Saturday, August 2, starting at noon is Marvel Day honoring Marvel’s 75th anniversary.  On Thursday, August 7, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be the featured attraction just in time for the movie’s release on August 8. Storytime and other events start at 11 am.

For more information about all the activities happening during Get Pop – Cultured call Barnes and Noble at (209) 472-1885 on the day of the event.

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InstaMeet 3: Arts & Culture

InstaMeet 3: Arts&Culture is coming up this Friday, July 25 from 7pm – 11pm on the rooftop of French 25 (Hotel Stockton).  It is a new type of Instameet event that showcases the tremendous artistic talent found in Stockton with the work of over twenty artists (past Stockton InstaMeets have focused on food).  This free event is being organized by @StocktonCA and @sonofasignman.

All forms of art are being showcased – painting, photography, sculpture, conceptual art, sketch art, mixed media and more. Listen to live sounds, sip a cocktail and watch an amazing sunset.

Stockton InstaMeet 2 Pose For A Photo In The Arena This March

Stockton’s first Instameet was last October at South Seawall Park (Joan Darrah Promenade) on Weber Avenue which included food trucks and a group photo. Events grow bigger each time (the second Instameet was in conjunction with the Food Truck Frenzy at the Stockton Arena in March) and capture many Stockton Instagrammers through the social media app called Instagram.

The goal for the night is simple: Get a group of dedicated Instagrammers/Artists together in a beautiful place, give them a hashtag as direction, meet local artists who have similar interests and see what happens. Event hash tag for the event is #ArtMeet25at25.

Stockton Instagram administrator Miguel Guillen created @StocktonCA to raise positive awareness for the community. The account uses hashtags to feature photos of Stockton’s scenery, local businesses and community events. @StocktonCA even visited the first Summer ArtSplash of the season in downtown this May.

Guillen didn’t expect much for the account in the beginning but Stockton’s official Instagram gained nearly five hundred followers its first month. Now, the page has over twelve thousand followers. The page often features photos from local Instagramers and offers giveaways.

Guillen hopes to make the InstaMeet a community tradition. To stay up to date on all things local, follow @StocktonCA on Instagram.

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Community Rhythms

Abasi Hunt And The De Carli Drum Circle

Local drummer Abasi Hunt presents a weekly drum circle every Sunday in DeCarli Plaza across the street from the downtown theater on El Dorado.  Everyone is welcome and some instruments are provided or you can bring your own.

De Carli Drum Circle

Tonight’s drum circle runs from 5pm until about 9pm.  Come add to the rhythms of community that fill the air.  If you can’t make it tonight the drum circle returns each Sunday.

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Art For All Ages

Santa Visits Pixie Woods Christmas In July

If you have never been to Pixie Woods, Stockton’s own fairyland, today is the day to go.  Pixie Woods is having their annual Christmas in July event.  Along with all the rides (train, boat and carousel) and attractions Pixie Woods usually offers there will be arts and crafts with Santa arriving at 2 pm.

Pixie Woods is located at 3121 Monte Diablo Avenue in Louis Park and is open from noon – 5 pm.  Admission for children under 2 years is free, Admission for ages 2 and over is $4.00 dollars, Admission + (unlimited rides) $12.00 dollars, Admission + (3 rides) $9.00 dollars, Admission + (2 rides) $8.00 dollars, Admission + (1 ride) $6.00 dollars, Additional Rides $2.00 dollars.

When you donate an item with a $5 value from the wish list you will receive free admission for each item donated today – towels, silverware, pots and pans, dishes and cups, hygiene products, small kitchen appliances, pens, binders, notebooks, backpacks, calculators, crayons and markers (new items only please). Your donations will benefit the people served by Women’s Center-Youth & Family Services.

Ernie Johnson presents his one act play, The Lady in the Wheelchair “It’s all about love” at the Elsie May Goodwin Gallery on the Miracle Mile, 1902 Pacific Avenue, from 3pm – 4pm today.  Ernie’s works are heartwarming and filled with humor.  His play, “Black Country” is one of my favorites. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. There will be a social hour to follow with refreshments.

El Jerome’s first solo art show is tonight starting at 6:30 pm at the Black Rose Tattoo Parlor, 237 E. Miner in downtown.  Enjoy music and food while viewing his series of paintings.  The Black Rose is all about art.  The art is everywhere you look – on the walls and on the people.

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Downtown Treasures

When I heard that there would be belly dancing in the Bob Hope Theatre lobby I found it hard to believe.  Sure enough, before Raiders of the Lost Ark screens today, July 13 at 2 pm, as part of the Friends of the Fox Classic Movie series there will be a belly dancing troupe, an Indiana Jones look-a-like contest, a hand of the mummy exhibit from the Haggin museum, a photo backdrop with a Raiders of the Lost Ark theme and complimentary wine, snacks, and bottled water!

Artwork By Jon Quiñones

The pre-event (starting at 1 pm) also includes a featured artist from a new partnership between Friends of the Fox and Art Expressions of San Joaquin.  This month artist Jon Quiñones will be showing his photo art mounted on canvas with a new artist in the lobby before the movie every month.

Tickets are $4 for kids/students, $8 adults, and $6 for groups of 10 or more.  More than a movie, this is an all around family experience that is sure to please.

French 25 Rooftop View

Music Monday’s, on the rooftop of French 25 (Hotel Stockton), kick off with Wendi Maxwell and Tres Hot Jazz this Monday, July 14 from 6 pm – 8 pm.  There will be a special rooftop small plate menu, French 25′s signature cocktails, the sounds of jazz all with the best view in town.

The full band takes the stage with vibraphonist Randy McMillan, Brian Clark and Dax Compise providing rhythm, Ken Cefalo on guitar, Rick Russell on sax, and Wendi Maxwell providing vocals.

Music Monday’s take place on French 25’s rooftop once a month. People can call to make reservations for dinner service at 209-451-0617. Seats will go to dinner reservations first.  French 25 will announce the next event at the end of this month on facebook.

Help launch rooftop music in downtown!!!

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Starting The Conversation

Alicia Valenzuela – Spotlight Artist For July Summer ArtSplash

I first met Alicia Valenzuela last year when I led an art flash mob parol (Filipino Star Lantern) activity at DeltaFusion. Her gratitude made an impression.

Since then I have learned just how special Alicia truly is, having graduated from UOP and being devoted to making real change. She has a unique point of view believing that, “artists and scientists are one in the same.”

The Bottle Cap Mural Activity At The 2014 Earth Day Festival

As a freshman Alicia started the bottle cap project collecting over 10,000 bottle caps making some of them into a mural. Alicia likes using the things around her to create art. Where others see post consumer waste she sees value, “because nothing is really trash.”

“Preventing the BottleCaptastrophe” is Alicia’s interactive exhibit on display at the Mexican Heritage Center (MHC), 111 S. Sutter, through July 31. This exhibit came about from a discussion with former MHC president Gene Acevedo who encouraged Alicia to put herself out there.

Alicia says that just because she graduated she hasn’t stopped being hungry for knowledge and that learning is not confined to school. She views this exhibit as the start of a conversation where attendees will contribute and the exhibit will change from day to day, hopefully with repeated visits.

At the Summer ArtSplash this Friday, July 11, Cleveland School Remembers Draw It Out is offering wish flag making in the Mexican Heritage Center lobby from 5 pm – 8 pm during the reception for Alicia’s exhibit. This group was formed to give children art opportunities to express their feelings about gun violence. Draw It Out’s series of wish flag workshops have started a conversation about how we can improve our neighborhoods.

Other ArtSplash venues downtown include the Kress lobby, the Elk’s building, the Pride Center, the County Administration building and the Regal dome.

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Draw It Out

In just four months the Cleveland School Remembers Draw It Out project, formed to provide art activities to help children communicate their feelings about gun violence, has invited residents of all ages to reflect on and share their wishes for their neighborhoods (what would make them better places) in a series of ongoing wish flag workshops that have created and displayed nearly 500 wish flags to date, most recently during the 4th of July parade.

Upcoming wish flag workshops are scheduled from now through October at – the Mexican Heritage Center, 111 S. Sutter during the July Summer ArtSplash this Friday, July 11 from 5 pm – 8 pm, the Emergency Food Bank Christmas In July event on July 26 from 10 am – 1 pm, National Night Out at Paul Weston Park on Tuesday, August 5, Art Break Day at Janet Leigh Plaza on September 5 from 9 am – 5 pm and the Stockton Is Magnificent event at Victory Park on October 4 from noon – 3 pm. Workshops are free.  Volunteers are appreciated.

In January 2015, two exhibits will take place – the Mexican Heritage Center hosts a Draw It Out art exhibit open to Stockton artists and on January 17 at 6 pm the Stockton Symphony will display wish flags in the lobby of Delta College’s Atherton Auditorium for the debut of “Kid Pan Alley – Stockton” children’s songwriting project.

Draw It Out volunteers are always looking for ways for art to bring healing to the people of Stockton. Besides making and exhibiting art, an important component of the healing process is the need for a memorial space, artistically designed, where all can gather and reflect on those lost. The group is identifying the steps necessary to make this a reality.  If you would like to join the Draw It Out effort, contact me.

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4th Of July Celebrations

What does everyone look forward to on the 4th of July – a parade, barbeque and fireworks.  Stockton has them all.  Join your neighbors, friends and family in downtown this morning at 11 am for a parade presented by the San Joaquin Veteran’s Coalition. See members of the Draw It Out group carry wish flags with community wishes for making our neighborhoods better places and much more.  The parade route begins at Washington and Sutter by the San Joaquin County Human Services Agency, heads north on Sutter, west on Weber and south on San Joaquin ending under the Crosstown Freeway.

The University Plaza Waterfront Hotel, next to the arena on Fremont Street, hosts a 4th of July Barbeque and pool party.  The barbeque buffet takes place from 6 pm – 8 pm with live music from 6 pm – 10 pm. The pool will be open for swimming.  Bring your own towels. Adults are $30 and children are $15.  Reservations required at (209) 323 – 3057.

The San Joaquin County Family Fair, presented by Next Level Concert Group, takes place at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds now through Sunday with rides, games, live music, food and side attractions including a BMX freestyle show, clowns, hypnotists, petting zoo and much more.  Don’t miss tonight’s firework show.  Link here for more info.

Regular price for adults is $10, seniors and children are $5 (children 5 – under are free). Rides and food are an additional charge. Bring one non-perishable food item per person today to help fight hunger (food will be donated to the Bread of Life Charities) and purchase your general admission ticket for ONLY $3! The family fair opens at 11:30 am and closes at 11:59 pm every day. For more information, please call (844) 322-FAIR (3247).

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Weaving Tales With A Common Thread

Giant puppets are coming to Victory Park?  That may sound incredible but this is the fourth year that the amazing DeltaFusion Puppet Pageant is being performed in Stockton.

Cathie McClellan, Associate Professor of UOP’s Theatre Arts Department, got the idea for DeltaFusion from “In The Heart Of The Beast Puppet And Mask Theatre” in Minneapolis now celebrating their 40th Mayday Parade and Festival that DeltaFusion takes after.

The Potato King And Tomato Queen


DeltaFusion highlights a different theme every year.  In 2011, the Potato King and Tomato Queen were the stars.  “Meet Me At The River” was the theme for 2012 featuring trappers and beavers.  Last year, “The Strength Of Many” included some of the diversity of the area – Filipino, Sikh, and Italian and this year, “Weaving Tales With A Common Thread” tells the story of Maxine Hong Kingston’s family among others.

David Qualls Directs DeltaFusion Music

Sylwia Qualls Staffs The DeltaFusion Display At The Summer ArtSplash

Lisa Cooperman At The University Of The Pacific

DeltaFusion Perfomers Including Angelique Grivalja At The Earth Day Festival

When I think of DeltaFusion a handful of leaders come to mind besides its founder – David Qualls who composes and directs the original music that accompanies the performance; his wife Sylwia Qualls who tirelessly promotes DeltaFusion every chance she gets; Lisa Cooperman who recruits new mentors and volunteers for DeltaFusion at annual informational meetings and registers volunteers for the puppet workshops held at UOP and Angelique Grivalja who mentors volunteers in puppet creation, promotes DeltaFusion and performs in the pageant.  I mention these individuals because I know them best but many more are involved. DeltaFusion’s success comes from a true collaboration of a diverse group of people from the community of all ages and cultures.

To experience DeltaFusion for yourself go to the Victory Park Rose Garden this Saturday, June 28 from 5 pm – 8 pm.  Cultural performances start and finish the evening. The DeltaFusion puppet pageant begins at 6 pm. This is an event you will not want to miss!

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Artist Contributions

Artists shape our cities – designing unique buildings that attract visitors, creating art in public spaces, filling our museums and galleries, bringing art to festivals and parades and a myriad of other events that enrich our lives.

Claire Oak / Stockton Art League Courtesy Photo

Claire Oak, a longtime member of the Stockton Art League and a prolific professional artist, profoundly impacted Stockton.  When Claire died last year she left over two thousand works to the Stockton Art League to benefit the group she loved so much.  Claire’s estate of art is currently for sale at the Goodwin Gallery at 1902 Pacific Avenue.

Claire Oak Rendering For Katten & Marengo Ad / Joy Neas Collection

I knew Claire as a watercolor painter.  Recently I discovered she was skilled in many mediums.  I spent an afternoon looking through portfolios of her advertising art including ads for Stockton’s historic stores – Katten and Marengo and Campbell’s – and the opening invitation for Cazale’s Flower Shop.  There were quick sketches, finished renderings, newspaper ads and oversized prints for $5 each. Other mediums range in price.

Leaving a lifetime body of art to live on is one of the greatest gifts an artist can make.  The Stockton Art League will rotate Claire’s art at the Goodwin Gallery. If you love art and history and benefiting a Stockton gallery it is worth it to take a look at the art of Claire Oak.

More Art Contributions

This Friday, June 27 Jagged Lines of the Imagination (JLI) is having an open house between 5:30 pm and 7 pm. The art school is located at 2232 N. El Dorado. If you have always wanted to see what JLI is all about here is your chance.  A highlight of the evening is a free wish flag activity by Cleveland School Remembers.  On June 30, July 1 & 2 a wish flag design workshop takes place at JLI, 2 pm – 3:30 pm, $25 materials included.

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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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