LANDMARKS COMMISSION TO CONSIDER CHAIN REACTION
As you probably know, Paul Conrad, who won three Pulitzer Prizes for his brilliant editorial cartoons in the Denver Post and the Los Angeles Times, was also a sculptor. He gave the City of Santa Monica a large, powerful sculpture, “Chain Reaction,” a couple of decades ago. Until recently it stood on Main Street, reminding passersby of mankind’s monstrous ability to destroy itself.
But, according to City staff, the sculpture is “dangerous” now and in need of repairs that could cost as much as $450,000. Though the City recently agreed to spend $440,000 for a spectacularly mundane arrangement of 29 aluminum poles in the Palisades Garden Walk, it has refused to pay for the “Chain Reaction” repairs.
Some residents and members of Conrad’s family are currently trying to raise the requisite funds to pay for the repairs. In the meantime,
the Santa Monica Landmark Commission will discuss granting landmark status to “Chain Reaction” Monday, July 9, which would ensure its preservation. David Conrad, his mother and sister have asked residents to attend the meeting and/or email the Commission to support the designation.
It’s quite simple. The City boasts endlessly of its devotion to the arts. Paul Conrad was arguably this country’s most talented editorial cartoonist, making serious art out of a few brutally true lines of ink day after day. He gave the 26-foot sculpture to Santa Monica, which claims it is committed to preserving the works of art in its possession
“Chain Reaction” is an icon, making manifest many residents’ attitude toward nuclear weapons and MAD (mutually assured destruction), which was among RAND’s most notable contributions to the Cold War. It’s historically and aesthetically significant – one of the few three dimensional works by an artist renowned for his one-dimensional works.
Planning Commissioners: Margaret Bach – firstname.lastname@example.org
John Charles Berley – email@example.com
Nina Fresco – firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara Kaplan – email@example.com
Ruthann Lehrer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruth Shari – email@example.com
The meeting is at 7:30 PM, Monday July 9, Santa Monica City Hall.
David Conrad wrote this week, “The most urgent need right now is for us to raise the funds needed to repair the Chain Reaction. This repair effort is entirely dependent on charitable contributions. Would you please consider a donation? You can send a financial gift to the following address: City of Santa Monica, Cultural Affairs Division – Chain Reaction, PO Box 2200, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2200
“Please make checks payable to the Santa Monica Arts Foundation. It must say “Chain Reaction” in the memo section of your check.
The Santa Monica Arts Foundation is a 501(c)(3) entity. Your contributions are tax deductible.
“All donations are helpful and greatly appreciated. Anyone donating $100 or more will receive an “I helped save the Chain Reaction” T-shirt silkscreened. And anyone donating $10,000 or more will receive a 1 foot tall bronze replica of the Chain Reaction. But no donation is too small, you can become part of this noble effort for any amount.
“It has been part of what has defined Santa Monica for the last 20 years.
“Other ways that you can be of help: Email the Santa Monica City Council asking for their full support in our efforts to restore the Chain Reaction. All seven Council members with one email to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone call to 310-458-8201.
“Spread the word! Tell your friends about our cause and share the Facebook link.
“Let us know if you would like to help by volunteering your time for future fundraising events. That would be quite helpful!
“If you have any contacts in media, newspaper, radio, TV, etc. who could assist in getting the word out, please let us know.”
David Conrad on behalf of the Conrad Family
**The Chain Reaction is more than just art. It is an evocative statement of peace created by a talented and visionary man. Truly, it must remain in place to remind generations to come**