Town Crier: Montclair ‘heartist’s’ work being shown in San Francisco

MONTCLARION: February 21, 2019

Who says you can’t put a price on love? Eight oversized hearts just raised millions for a Bay Area hospital — and Montclair artist Adele Gilani is pumped. You see, Gilani spent much of last fall painting a 5-by-6-foot, 400-pound sculpture for Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital’s “Hearts in SF” fundraiser. She was chosen from a select group of artists after applying for the honor the three previous years.

“I knew I would get it this year because it was my third trimester,” laughs Gilani, whose little girl, Jilani, was born 11 days before the sculpture was due.

And what gave Gilani the inspiration for her “Here Comes the Sun” heart sculpture? The December 2017 Snake Road arson fire that almost destroyed her home.

“We were pretty sure our house was going to burn down,” she remembers. “I threw my dog and my scrap books in the car, and we got out of there.” The next day, she and her husband returned to their home, and she saw her yard in a new light. “It was the same as before (untouched by the flames), but I just appreciated it that much more.”

Gilani’s sculpture is the Kentucky-born artist’s first public piece of art and is part of the eight-heart installation in Union Square until Halloween. After that, the art moves to the 44th floor of the Bank of America building in San Francisco. Find out more on her blog at

Around town: The Piedmont Daughters of the Revolution celebrated their big 90th birthday recently, and lest you think only “oldies” were in attendance, the party began with a junior high Color Guard group (Golden Gate Young Marines) dressed in combat fatigues.

Yes, the DOR celebrates history, but it’s also an active group focused on giving back. Reader Lynn Peterson says their Piedmont chapter spent 1,658 hours in community service last year. Interested in joining? The Piedmont chapter has a registrar who provides genealogical assistance to prospective members once a month at the LDS Oakland Family History Center.

Email bag: I just got back from the Republic of Moldova, known for some of the worst roads in Europe. But are they worse than the perennially pitted Thornhill Drive? With all this rain, readers are taking up pens, again, to complain about the busy hills artery, which they say has at least a dozen potholes, four of which are a foot or more in diameter. A typical reader complaint states “My neighbors and I have been reporting ever-enlarging potholes for months to 311, and by direct email, and nothing has been done.” Public Works Department, are you reading this?

Now that Ground Hog day is behind us, could summer reunions be far off? Reader Sean Kohles (Skyline High’s track and cross country coach) is asking alumni to sign up on his school’s directory and Facebook page.

“We are trying to get alumni to connect with one another,” he says, hoping more grads will come to on-campus events and support the school with donations. Skyline High opened in 1962 with its first class graduating in ’64. Since then, roughly 30,000 students have passed through those hallowed halls. Are you one of them? Check out these links to find out more: and

Animal tales: With all this rain, it was bound to happen. Frogs are exercising their vocal chords in a cacophony of croaks from newly formed ponds all over the hills. It’s not the most harmonic of sounds (I prefer an owl hooting to a frog croaking) but folks who’ve grown up in the country seem to like it.

Ginny Prior can be followed on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and at Email her at


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