Town Crier: Murals dress up Montclair and districts around Oakland

MONTCLARION: February 28, 2014

“Art is love times love. The creator loves it, and his audience adores it.” — Vincent Price.

This quote comes to mind as I see students from Skyline High creating a beautiful mural on the south side of Rite Aid in Montclair. Commissioned by the Montclair Village Association, artist Pam Consear works with the kids every Saturday — a kind of art internship that gives the students practical experience and gives the rest of us public art on a once-blank wall.

The mural — supported by Rite Aid and building owner Sturtevant Enterprises — is a full, four-panel image of the banners you see hanging from the Village light poles. They were designed by Oakland artist Michael Wertz and celebrate our iconic buildings and firehouse, western town and nature. Montclair resident Ron Rifkin is handling the graphic design and project coordination, and when the mural is done — the images will fit together on the wall like a puzzle. Check out the progress at

Around town: Snapshot Mosaics is shuttered, but its art is still popping up around Montclair. Crogan’s is the latest business to sponsor a shimmery sidewalk planter, and word has it that artist Gina Dominguez has several more Village planters in the works.

Crime beat: Thieves have their eyes on a lot of things — and now you can add dogs to the list. A Montclair shopper told a clerk, the other day that her poodle had been taken from her car. The pet was plucked right out of its carrier and apparently pulled through the open window in broad daylight.

Getting crabby: Zion Lutheran School holds its annual crab feed Saturday night with guest emcee and mayoral candidate Joe Tuman. The school has something else to celebrate — its 130-year anniversary. Zion started out in West Oakland in 1883 as the German-English Day School. Today they’re on Park Boulevard — marked by a marquee that the pastor uses to spread some of my favorite inspirational pearls of wisdom.

Dining scene: I had to try Bourbon & Beef earlier this month after friends raved about dining at the big communal table in the window. The Rockridge (5634 College Ave.) restaurant reflects chef Munther Massarweh’s love for Latin cuisine and farm-to-fork ingredients. He was raised in a foodie family with an uncle in farming and a father who ran several San Francisco eateries. Bourbon & Beef lives up to its early reviews as a warm, trendy restaurant with great cocktails and comfort foods like braised Kobe beef short ribs and seafood paella with giant prawns, sausage and saffron rice.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by email at or on the web at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s