With its fate likely in the community's hands, Santa Monica's anti-nuke sculpture will be the subject of at least three public meetings in March.
Activists are revving up to garner wider support to save Pulitzer prize-winning cartoonist Paul Conrad's 26-foot tall mushroom cloud sculpture. Located on the lawn of the the sculpture is corroded and officials have said there's not enough money in the city budget to repair it.
The Santa Monica Arts Commission has recommended that the public come up with the more than $400,000 needed for the restoration. Unless its fixed, the sculpture is likely to be removed from the public art collection.
One of the public forums slated to take place next month will be a meeting of City Council, which is expected to vote on the Arts Commission's recommendation to rely on public fundraising. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. March 20.
The first community meeting will take place 5: 30 p.m. March 4 at Flying Saucers Caffeine and Art cafe. It will feature Conrad's son, David, as its guest speaker. Organizer Jerry Rubin said this will be the first meeting for participants to brainstorm and share ideas to garner wider support for saving the sculpture.
The city's Landmarks Commission will meet the following week at 7 p.m. March 12 to talk about whether the sculpture, titled "Chain Reaction," should be nominated for a landmark status. The owners of such historic properties given, in this case it would be the city, are required to maintain the structures.
Additionally, there will be a free screening of a Paul Conrad: Drawing Fire, an one hour PBS Independent Lens documentary film by Barbara Multer-Wellin and Jeffrey Abelson, and narrated by Tom Brokaw. The screening is scheduled for 3 p.m. April 1 at at 302 Pico Blvd.
For more information about any of the meetings, email activist Jerry Rubin at JerryPeaceActivistRubin@earthlink.net.
Check out these Patch stories for further information about “Chain Reaction:”