Town Crier: Montclair’s small pond part of big art project


The pint-size body of water in Montclair Park is more than just a pond. It’s what first drew me to the Montclair Village — the reed-lined shores where ducks preened and bobbed and children caught crawdads with a line and a pole. It seemed something straight from the pages of Huck Finn — or at least from my childhood memories of Minnesota.

Through June, the pond is drawing attention as part of a nationwide floating art installation that starts in Montclair and ends in New York’s East River. On Wednesday, California Artist Jack Durnford launched his Aquatic Graffiti project in Montclair Park, an idea spawned by an art show he was part of in Lake Tahoe a few years ago.

Durnford’s floating art is made from mostly recycled materials and will be in the duck pond for 30 days, through the June 28-30 Fine Art Festival — Montclair’s 38th annual installment. Merchant Jeff Diamond, the acting head of the Montclair Village Association, says the Village is thrilled to host the inaugural exhibit in Montclair Park — one of the biggest assets to our community. If there’s a way to put our little pond on “the map” — this is surely it.

Culture sculptures: Speaking of art, local artist Mario Chiodo’s new installation honoring 25 celebrated civil rights activists is being dedicated at 3 p.m. Friday at Oakland’s Henry J. Kaiser Memorial Park. The 52-by-25-foot sculpture honors Oakland as a center of civil rights activism and includes figures of everyone from Cesar Chavez to Harvey Milk. You can check it out at

Email bag: Reader Donna Blanchard thanks The Montclarion for helping her find two of her favorite new merchants. “In your column of April 19, I found the perfect photographer for my whole family — Reenie Raschke — who will take a photo of us next weekend at the Oakland Rose Garden,” she writes. Blanchard says the same day, there was a piece on a new wellness center in Montclair. Her daughter made an appointment with Dr. Matt Green and feels great now.

Free love: Sounds like an advertisement straight from the 1960s — but this is a plug for Oakland Animal Services and the annual Maddie’s Fund adopt-a-thon. This weekend, dogs, cats, puppies and kittens will be free to qualified homes. Last year, the shelter raised $107,000 in matching funds to buy medicine, grooming tools pet beds and more. For more information, see


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