San Pedro Art Community Loses Great Ally
By Ron Linden, Contributor; Andrea Serna, Arts Writer; Melina Paris, Editorial Assistant
In times like these, of uncertainty, when so much is unknown as we shelter-in-place, people instinctively reach toward what soothes them. For many in San Pedro that elixir is art and community. Pat Carroll, affectionately known as Pedro Pat, seemed to know this. She was an advocate for the arts. Pat died peacefully, June 21, on her 81st birthday.
Pat was born in 1939 and grew up on a ranch in the San Fernando Valley. She graduated from the University of California Los Angeles in 1961 and earned her masters in business administration in advertising and marketing from Pepperdine University.
Pat enjoyed studying Italian and traveling, so much so that Italy and Ireland became prime destinations for passport adventures. She also worked for the Kubota Tractors, which was at one time based in Torrance. Pat was always quick to roll up her sleeves and work for the good of the community. Her first major volunteer project was participating in building a Habitat for Humanity Global Village in Belfast, Ireland in 2000. When she returned, Pat took on the role of registration manager for the 1,400 volunteers working on a December 2000 blitz-build in Wilmington, Calif. After retiring in 2005, Pat took on more responsibilities in Habitat’s volunteer home and community building nonprofit. For the 2007 San Pedro/Los Angeles Jimmy Carter Work Project, Pat coordinated meals for over 2,000 volunteers for one week as they built 16 homes for low-income families.
Linda Alexander, a civic leader, community volunteer and a long time friend of Pat’s noted that it was during the Habitat for Humanity housing buildout that Pat was introduced to local businesses and the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce.
Here, she found her niche. She served five years on the Board of the Grand Vision Foundation (Friends of the Warner Grand Theatre), and served two terms on the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council. She was involved in the early days with the Community Redevelopment Agency funded Arts, Culture & Entertainment District — which transitioned into the nonprofit San Pedro Waterfront Arts District. Pat served as Chair of the Arts District and was the principal website administrator.
She earned her moniker in part because of her 10-year commitment to highlighting artists and their work through her monthly First Thursday Art Walk tours of the galleries throughout San Pedro’s downtown Waterfront Arts District. In many ways, Pat was the cloth that lovingly enveloped the arts district in terms of both art and the business of it, as she lifted it up in every aspect from her tours, her work on the Central Neighborhood Council, her support of the historic Warner Grand and Grand Vision with all of its programs and her volunteer efforts.
Pat is survived by her brother, Matthew Carroll, and his wife Marilyn in Colorado; her niece, Mailan Woods; her nephew Michael Carroll, and his wife Beth; and her great niece Melanie Woods. A Pat Carroll Memorial Fund at Angels Gate for Artists Continuing Education is being set up under the guidance of Amy Erickson, the executive director of the Angels Gate Cultural Center.
Pat’s memory has elicited an outpouring of love from San Pedro artists as they realize they will miss deeply both her presence and her spirit for life. Following are tributes to Pat Carroll from the San Pedro arts community.
Pat was a beautiful, gentile soul. She had a passion for the arts. She beat the drum and did the leg work in support of our local galleries and artists in San Pedro. We will all miss her wonderful smiling face about town.
—Anne Olsen Daub and Eugene Daub, San Pedro painter and sculptor
Pat Carroll loved life and art and people and all things Italian. Her contributions to San Pedro through her volunteer work and support for organizations, such as the library, her art tour and committee work will set an example to all of us as to how to live a memorable and meaningful life. Viva Pat Carroll!
—Ann Weber, artist
We met Pat nearly 10 years ago as she voluntarily set up a program, guiding art seekers to the many studios and galleries on the First Thursday Art Walk in San Pedro. It started out with a small group but Pat, with her enthusiasm and determination, soon saw a spike in interest and the numbers kept growing! Pat understood how important these tours could be in developing a deeper appreciation of the arts.
— Ray and Arnée Carofano, photographers and owners of Gallery 478, San Pedro
Pat Carroll was a true supporter of the arts. Pat was committed to her monthly tour group and at Michael Stearns Studio we always looked forward to our visit from her group. The artists that worked diligently on exhibitions were pleased and flattered that she brought people much like her, curious, intelligent and appreciative of fine art. She will be missed. It will be hard to imagine the art walk, someday when we all go back on the streets again.
— Andrea Serna, gallery coordinator, Michael Stearns Studio @The Loft and freelance arts writer
“Pedro Pat” will be fondly remembered for her many contributions, including many years of guided First Thursday Art Walk tours, her willingness to stay engaged with this community and her devotion to arts education. She was a role model for graceful aging and continuous learning.
As the managing director of the nonprofit Arts District, I reported to her when she was our first board chair. She was a clear-eyed pragmatist, who rose through corporate management when women had to wear hats and gloves.
— Linda Grimes, managing director of the San Pedro Waterfront Arts District
Pat will be remembered for her curiosity and enthusiasm, her fearlessness when engaging esoteric and unfamiliar art and artists and her tireless commitment to the San Pedro arts community. She often asked me to speak to her First Thursday docent group to explain curatorial choices, selection of artists, conceptual underpinnings, and so on.
On more than one occasion my comments were peppered with profanities (always affirmative mind you) and Pat would reassure me that my “slips of tongue” were just fine with her. I’ll always appreciate her for that. Rest in Power, Pat.
— Ron Linden, artist and curator, TransVagrant Projects