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News, Celebrity, Santa Monica, Art

Norman Lear, Ed Ruscha Throw Support Behind Saving “Chain Reaction” Sculpture

Norman Lear.
Courtesy Photo
Norman Lear.
Ed Ruscha.
Courtesy Photo
Ed Ruscha.

Posted Jul. 14, 2013, 8:59 am

Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief

Santa Monica’s 26-foot tall “Chain Reaction” sculpture near Santa Monica City Hall, which is at risk of being torn down next year, has two more noted supporters: TV writer/producer Norman Lear and artist Ed Ruscha.

Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film, and as a political and social activist and philanthropist while Ruscha is indisputably one of the most iconic America artists of the 20th century.

“Chain Reaction” supporters said the pair have joined in the campaign to save the late three-time Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist Paul Conrad's nuclear mushroom cloud peace sculpture and warning monument that has been standing in the Santa Monica Civic Center since 1991.

Leaders of Save Chain Reaction, the group working to gather support and funding for the creative and unique public art sculpture, announced Friday they were proud and honored to have the support of both Lear and Ruscha.

Save Chain Reaction is planning a number of public events and is also inviting the public to sign their online support petition and donate to the timely fundraising effort to restore the landmarked sculpture.

Other Save Chain Reaction supporters include activist actors Martin Sheen and Ed Asner; anti-nuclear activist and author Dr. Helen Caldicott; cinematographer Haskell Wexler; Robert Scheer, Editor in chief of; activist, author and former California legislator Tom Hayden.

Former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver recently joined with seven other former Santa Monica mayors in endorsing the growing campaign.

The other former mayors are Judy Abdo, Jim Conn, Mike Feinstein, Ruth Goldway, Paul Rosenstein, Nat Trives, and Denny Zane.

The City of Santa Monica wants to remove "Chain Reaction" unless its supporters can privately raise $400,000 to save it by Feb. 1, 2014. The money is required to restore the sculpture.

Paul Conrad gifted the sculpture to the City of Santa Monica through a $250,000 philanthropic peace donation by an anonymous benefactor.

Supporters are urged to get involved and visit the Save Chain Reaction website at

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