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Dear Friends of BC Space


BC Space is proud to present the exhibition:
Peter Carr: Pioneer of Protest, celebrating the work of the Southern California artist whose legacy merits a prominent place in the history of Orange County art, writing, and activism.


The exhibition surveys the graphic work of poet, painter and activist Peter Carr (1925-1981), whose portrayal of the natural and political eco-systems of the late ‘60s and ‘70s, combined with his unique fusing of politics and personal testimony, promoted protest activities of his era.


The opening celebration will feature a reading of Carr's contributions, which are in the new anthology, Orange County: A Literary Field Guide (Heyday), along with the writings of Joan Didion, E.L. Doctorow, M.F.K. Fisher, Philip K. Dick and Steve Martin. The book, co-edited by Andrew Tonkovich and Lisa Alvare, is “the first-ever literary anthology celebrating Orange County, a more than hundred-year survey of work from the region,” according to Tonkovich, a student of Carr’s at Cal State University, Long Beach, and who now teaches at UC Irvine. He adds, “Peter Carr’s creative writing parallels his artistic expression in watercolors and pen-and-ink drawings, political posters and acrylic landscapes.”








Carr cofounded CSULB’s Department of Comparative Literature and was a key organizer of the region’s grassroots citizen anti-nuclear Alliance for Survival. Before his sudden death at age 56, his paintings and drawings were widely shown in Southern California, at events where he also read his poetry and prose.


Carr led a productive life of scholarship, activism and creative output. He left a treasure trove of manuscripts, chapbooks, notebooks and artwork, a representative sample of which will be on display for this first-ever posthumous show. BC Space gallery owner Mark Chamberlain, who knew and photographed Carr’s work, is pleased to play a role in reviving his legacy, which recalls the beauty and wonder of the California eco-system and his ecstatic engagement with contemporary politics and people.



Carr lived with his common-law wife, activist Jean Bernstein, near Aliso Creek in Laguna Beach for many years. Bernstein is credited with starting one of the longest-running peace vigils in U.S. history, which is still going at Main Beach. Harry “Peter” Carr was born in Pasadena in 1925. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he received a PhD on the GI Bill from the University of Southern California, and taught for many years in the Comparative Literature Department at Cal State University Long Beach.  He died after his return from a sabbatical project spent collecting oral histories from anti-nuclear activists around the country.


What: Closing Celebration for the exhibition Peter Carr: Pioneer of Protest


Where:BC Space gallery, 235 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, CA 92651


When:Saturday, May 13, 4-6 PM


Featuring: Poetry Reading with Lisa Alvarez and Andrew Tonkovich, co-editors of Orange County: A Literary Field Guide.

Introducing three poets whose work appears in this landmark anthology: Stephanie Brown, Chris Davidson and Ken An-hwei Lee.

Join the editors and contributors in celebrating the work of the Laguna Beach poet, activist and painter Peter Carr, whose legacy was a powerful contributing force in these stories of Orange County.


Contact:Mark Chamberlain, BC Space Gallery  (949) 497-1880  bcspace@cox.net

Andrew Tonkovich, (714) 649-9051 atonkovi@uci.edu 


The exhibition will be on display through May 27, 2017.

Contact information:

Rick Conkey (949) 573-8624, rickconkey@gmail.com

Liz Goldner (949) 378-6485, lizgoldner@cox.net