Activists working with Save Chain Reaction announced this week that their grassroots campaign to save and restore the late Paul Conrad’s iconic 26-foot-tall nuclear mushroom cloud peace sculpture in the Santa Monica Civic Center has just surpassed 1,000 online petition signatures.
Activists say the group will continue to seek more petition supporters through their SaveChainReaction.com website as well as help gather funding to assist the City in the restoration cost of the now-landmarked monumental public art sculpture.
The sculpture was created by Conrad, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist, who gifted the sculpture to the City of Santa Monica through a $250,000 philanthropic peace donation by Joan Kroc, the heir of her husband Ray Kroc’s McDonald’s fortune.
The sculpture has been standing in the City’s Civic Center since 1991. Paul Conrad passed away of natural causes at the age of 86 on September 4, 2010. Joan Kroc, who at the time made the “Chain Reaction” gift funding anonymously, passed away from brain cancer on October 12, 2003.
“Chain Reaction” was unanimously declared a City of Santa Monica landmark by the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission on July 9, 2012.
Some of the supporters of Save Chain Reaction include prominent artists Ed Ruscha and Judy Baca; TV producer Norman Lear; activist actors Ed Asner, Martin Sheen, Tim Robbins and Alexandra Paul; Academy Award winning film cinematographer Haskell Wexler; anti-nuclear and anti-war activists Dr. Helen Caldicott, Tom Hayden and Ron Kovic; Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist Matt Wuerker; musician and activist Graham Nash; noted poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti; journalist and Truthdig.com editor Robert Scheer; organizations such as Green Chamber of Commerce, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles and Veterans for Peace-Los Angeles; and numerous other supporters including architects, students, religious leaders, local columnists, community activists, and many former and current members of Santa Monica City Boards and Commissions as well as eight former Santa Monica Mayors.
Conrad inscribed at the base of his now threatened sculpture: “This is a statement of peace. May it never become an epitaph.”
The team at Save Chain Reaction wishes everyone a happy and meaningful Peace Day and thanks everyone for their ongoing commitment and support.