Essex County News

Montclair Center BID Unveils First Mural of Many to Come

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Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson greets R.C. Mooney on his May in Montclair mural. Pictured alongside Montclair Center BID Director Israel Cronk. Credits: Natalie Heard Hackett
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Montclair Councilwoman Renee Baskerville and Montclair BID Director Israel Cronk Credits: Natalie Heard Hackett
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MONTCLAIR, NJ - Montclair's first official mural was unveiled in Montclair Center on Tuesday. Designed with the theme, May in Montclair, the mural spanned nearly 12 feet in height alongside the wall of 420 Bloomfield Avenue.

The dedication ceremony for the new May in Montclair Mural began with comments from dignitaries such as Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson, Montclair Garden Club President Susan Straten, Montclair Center BID President Phil Cantor and Montclair Center BID Executive Director Israel Cronk.

Dozens of residents gathered for the ceremony and were treated to light refreshments and music by Jazz House Kids' musicians for the festive debut.

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The Montclair Center BID commissioned artist R.C. Mooney from One Drop Paint Shop, an accomplished muralist and sign painter, to create the piece.  The mural commemorates May in Montclair, a program that plants over 20,000 tulips every year throughout the Township and celebrates May special events in a booklet.  The program was founded in 1979 by Betty Dallery, who died in 2013 at age 106.  The mural also celebrates the contributions of Jean Kidd, whose contribution to the program has help make it the success it is today.   

Mooney said that he painted the mural alone in 3 days, "I worked with Israel Cronk to design this tulip mural to commemorate May in Montclair."

"My background is New York City billboard painter and mural painter." Mooney added that he has been painting large-scale murals for nearly 8 years. "I recently opened a small shop in Montclair called One Stop Sign Shop." Located at 8 Hartley St. in Montclair, Mooney specializes in hand-painted signs and custom lettering.

Red Star Paint allowed Montclair Center BID and Mooney to use the wall of its building that lines the alleyway to the rear municipal lot and is a perfect addition to the Montclair Center landscape.

Mooney continued saying that he is looking forward to working on any future projects in the township, if needed.

Robert Webber, board member of Montclair Center BID said, "We just wanted to do something to make people smile. When they're walking around twon and grabbing a bite to eat, they will see this and hopefully have a smile. We hope this helps the process."

The mural is just the beginning. We think about the arts as the central place of this community. We have art in the gallery and art in the museum....we have walls all over the place and they are empty canvasses."

The Montclair Center BID is responsible for the music performances, beautification projects including plants and decorations, banners, wayfinding signage and maintenance throughout Montclair Center.  

Officials have announced that they are currently seeking other artists of any age interested in painting murals throughout Montclair Center. If interested, visit https://montclaircenter.com/newjersey/2900-2/

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