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2014 Artists of Residence Chosen for Stockton is Magnificent

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Each year the Celebrate Stockton is Magnificent Arts Committee selects an artist in residence to represent the talent of the community for the annual event. This selection is based on a commitment from the individual to promote Stockton and the surrounding area in a positive and creative way.

The arts committee has selected Kevin and Elizabeth Costello as the 2014 Artists of Residence. Kevin and Elizabeth are well known in the northern California region for their commitment to performing arts, both in community theatre and children’s theatre. The Costello’s own and operate That’s Show Biz Theatre Company, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing high quality theatre arts education and professional entertainment to Stockton and surrounding communities.

ass=”p1″>For 11 years, the Costello’s ran a traveling educational children’s theatre, performing over 3,500 times, conducting numerous workshops & serving as Artists-in Residence at schools & libraries throughout California. They have been in and directed countless plays & musicals at numerous theatres including the Stockton Civic Theatre.

Kevin has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Pomona College and is the Artistic Director at Stockton Civic Theatre as well as director of the Saint Mary’s High School Theatre Department.

Elizabeth has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from San Jose State and has appeared on T.V.’s One Life to Live and Off Broadway. Elizabeth worked for 13 years in early childhood and elementary education.

A sample of the talent of the Costello’s and their performers can be seen in a dramatic/comedic act on the children’s stage at the 4th annual Celebrate Stockton is Magnificent event on Saturday, October 4th from noon to 3PM in Victory Park

Kevin and Elizabeth have provided the community with years of theatrical training and performances, enhancing the lives of many

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Arts and Culture

‘Black On Point’ Artists Sparkle at Fall Open Studios

Bay Area art lovers look forward to the open studio event at Hunters Point Shipyard and the growing “Black On Point” artists’ collective did not disappoint last weekend. Of the 250+ artists with studios at the historic shipyard, there are now over 25 Black artists to discover amid the sprawling, repurposed buildings at the end of Evans Avenue in the Bayview.

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Upcoming artist Osaze Seneferu with his father, renowned painter Malik Seneferu. Photo by Linda Parker Pennington.
Upcoming artist Osaze Seneferu with his father, renowned painter Malik Seneferu. Photo by Linda Parker Pennington.

By Linda Parker Pennington

Bay Area art lovers look forward to the open studio event at Hunters Point Shipyard and the growing “Black On Point” artists’ collective did not disappoint last weekend.

Of the 250+ artists with studios at the historic shipyard, there are now over 25 Black artists to discover amid the sprawling, repurposed buildings at the end of Evans Avenue in the Bayview.

This talented group includes:

  • Bayview native son, Malik Seneferu – whose son, Osaze, is also an emerging artist.
  • Afatasi the Artist who tells stories in casted metal;
  • Jazz musician turned mixed-media artist Charles Unger who is an artist-in-residence
  • Adonia Middleton, who is Unger’s studio mate and fellow artist-in-residence, creates vibrant images of black women
  • This year’s third artist-in-residence is quiltmaker William Rhodes whose latest quilt featuring Angela Davis is a must-see
  • Maguerite Browne, an eclectic collector and fashion artist, now occupies the studio of internationally renowned public artist Joe Sam whose work is now on display at MoAD. (Seneferu worked and studied under Sam in the ’90s.)

Rhonel Roberts, Ira Watkins, Pete Dent, Nina Fabunmi, Leslie Printis, Dolores Gray, Stephen Namara, Charles Tuggle, Nyya Lark, The Hillman Girls, Pearl Brown and studio photographer Marco Williams are all worth the trip to this off-the-beaten path location.

If you missed this year’s Hunters Point Shipyard Open Studios, there will be a Holiday Open Studios in December. For more info, you can follow Black On Point on Facebook or check their website at blackonpointsf.org.

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Arts and Culture

DJ Zernell Gillie Gives Hip Hop a New Scent

Zernell Gillie has been in and around the Hip Hop and House music scene in Chicago for over 30 years. The world-renowned DJ has spun records all over the world and headlined parties in London, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, France to name a few.

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Zernell Gillie at the Ministry of Scent debuting his new parfum, Hip Hop. Photo by Lee Hubbard.
Zernell Gillie at the Ministry of Scent debuting his new parfum, Hip Hop. Photo by Lee Hubbard.

By Lee Hubbard

Zernell Gillie has been in and around the Hip Hop and House music scene in Chicago for over 30 years. The world-renowned DJ has spun records all over the world and headlined parties in London, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, France to name a few.

His love for music started at 14 during the early years of House music as he would listen to the Hot Mix on WBMX in Chicago.  Listening to the early pioneers of House music such as Ron Hardy, Gillie generated his own style, which is called grimy. The grimy style of Rouse music mixes the rarest disco and house music together.

Gillie now heads the record label Grimy Edits and its sister label Grimy Trax and the clothing brand Grimy Gear.  Now a Los Angeles resident, he saw his worldwide DJing opportunities come to a stop during the COVID-19 pandemic when he was housebound.

“I was sitting around the house kind of depressed as there was nothing to do,” said Gillie.

It was during this time Gillie came up with the idea to start his own fragrance line.

“I was and have been wearing fragrances since I was a boy, so I was always drawn to them,” said Gillie. “I had been thinking about this for a while, but [worldwide slowdown] just helped to jump start it.”

In contact with a perfumery via ZOOM about starting a brand, Gillie began sampling scents weekly at home and discussing the different notes he wanted in a fragrance.

“I had been thinking about this for a while, but this just helped to jump start it,” continued Gillie.”

The pandemic was the perfect time for Gillie  to launch his line. His first fragrance to hit the market was ‘Disco’ in the spring of 2022 and his second fragrance was ‘Techno’ which was released in fall of 2022.

These two were met with moderate success and they were featured at various musical festivals where Gillie performed as the pandemic wound down in 2022.

“Fragrance kept me from going dark during the pandemic,” continued Gillie. “Just like music. It uplifted me.”

But Gillie’s newest fragrance, “Hip Hop,’ changed the game, dropping during the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop.

Gillie was on hand recently to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop and to reveal his new scent at the independent fragrance retailer, Ministry of Scent at 973 Valencia St. in San Francisco’s Mission district.

“This event is to help celebrate Hip Hop, Gillie’s third fragrance in his line of fragrances,” said Antonia Kohl, a co-owner of Ministry of Scent, which specializes in independent and niche fragrances.

Hip Hop is a boozy scent with notes of black currant, saffron, spice leather, white musk and amber with a sweet twist.  It has a 50% concentration with 10 hours of longevity.

“I started the fragrance line for myself,” continued Gillie. “If I liked the smells, I felt like others would as well and if the brand didn’t work, I would just smell good for the rest of my life.”

He joins other Black perfumers who have made a mark on the fragrance scene.  This includes Chris Collins, Chris Crenshaw and Pink Mahogany to name a few who have entered the multi-billion dollar industry.

“A lot of people are getting into the independent lane and making fragrances,” said Gillie.   “It’s about providing a good product and taking it to the marketplace.”

Gillie’s fourth scent, ‘House,” will be coming out soon.

After ‘House,’ he said he will launch another quartet of fragrances which will be called Soul, Jazz. Blues and R&B.

“Fragrances are subjective, and they are not for everyone,” added Gillie.  “But I want people to be happy and feel good and to be uplifted.”

Hip Hop can be purchases at the Ministry of Scent in San Francisco and at retailers online.

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Arts and Culture

Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, PIC Lead Effort to Save East Oakland Martial Arts School

For over 50 years Sifu Bill and Mary Owens have owned and operated Cascos Martial Arts Academy in East Oakland. They have specialized in teaching self-defense, cultural awareness, educational values, and self-confidence to students of all ages. But the COVID-19 pandemic has nearly brought down the dojo located at 7415 MacArthur Blvd.

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Witnessing the receipt of the donation to the Private Industry Council are from left; Linda Taylor, Sifu Bill and Mary Owens, Nate Miley, Ray Lankford and Shawn Easki Adams.
Witnessing the receipt of the donation to the Private Industry Council are from left; Linda Taylor, Sifu Bill and Mary Owens, Nate Miley, Ray Lankford and Shawn Easki Adams.

By Post Staff

For over 50 years Sifu Bill and Mary Owens have owned and operated Cascos Martial Arts Academy in East Oakland.

They have specialized in teaching self-defense, cultural awareness, educational values, and self-confidence to students of all ages. But the COVID-19 pandemic has nearly brought down the dojo located at 7415 MacArthur Blvd.

The Owens hoped that students would return after the shutdown and they did, but not in the numbers they had before. Having prided himself for never turning away a student who could not pay, last summer Bill Owens found himself far behind on his mortgage.

Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley helped them secure a small grant to try to recover from the pandemic, but they have been served with a foreclosure notice anyway.

Miley has again responded by making a $5,000 donation to the Private Industry Council (PIC), which will, in turn, provide aid to the dojo. The Oakland Post is planning to match Miley’s contribution.

Post Publisher Paul Cobb said he will help Miley and PIC Executive Director Ray Lankford raise the funds to prevent the dojo from closing.

“We must fight for constructive programs to save our youth in the same manner that the community rallied to raise more than $80,000 to prevent foreclosure of the North Oakland Baptist Church’s properties,” Cobb said.

The Cascos Martial Art Academy has been recognized as being an integral part of Oakland’s history and has received hundreds of trophies and awards for being one of the longest-running martial arts schools in California.

In addition to traditional martial arts training, they also teach OFA, which is short for Ofanics.

OFA is a unique, evolutionary martial art form taught nowhere else in the world, as it was created and developed over many years at Cascos Martial Arts Academy.

The techniques taught and used within the exercises and drills fuse the beautiful art of Chinese Kung Fu with African American culture, where each self-defense or fighting stroke becomes a rhythmic musical delivery.

On June 25, 2021, Congresswoman Barbara Lee of Oakland wrote a letter acknowledging the immensely positive impact that Cascos Martial Art Academy has had on the community.

Bill and Mary have also received commendations from members of the California State Assembly for exemplary teaching and support for the youth in the community. Having served more than 6,000 students, the couple’s impact is not just local but worldwide.

The Owens’ are asking the community to help them preserve this legacy by inviting the public to attend and participate in the free, self-defense program called “Black Girls Missing,” which is designed for young girls and women of all ages. This program builds self-confidence, self-appreciation, self-discipline, and awareness.

The first class and kick-off of the “Black Girls Missing Program” will be held Sat. Nov. 11, from 7-9 p.m. at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle at 410 14 St. in Oakland CA. It’s a workshop and a party.  Wear something comfortable.

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