Artist Lorenzo Pace’s Recent Triumphs

Dr. Lorenzo Pace, artist; HRM Queen Mother Dòwòti Désir; Laurie Cumbo, Commissioner of New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; and Rodney Leon, Architect  of African American Burial Ground Monument stand in front of Triumph of the Human Spirit, Dr. Pace’s sculpture, at the piece’s 22nd anniversary celebration on October 23 Photo credit: Michael Rochford

Dr. Lorenzo Pace is a Williamsburg artist, performer, and educator who maintains an art studio near Cooper Park.  In late October, he celebrated the opening of his first solo show and the 22nd anniversary of his prominent Triumph of the Human Spirit sculpture that towers from a fountain in Foley Square.   Triumph of the Human Spirit is a 50-foot tall, 300-ton, black granite sculpture based on a Chi Wara (antelope) figure of legend for the Bambara people of Mali. The sculpture symbolizes freedom and endurance. He was commissioned to build the monument to honor African slaves interred in the mid-eighteenth century African Burial Ground in lower Manhattan. Triumph of the Human Spirit was commissioned in 1991 and dedicated at the site on October 12, 2000.

Drums of Passion at Triumph of the Human Spirit’s 22nd anniversary celebration Photo credit: Michael Rochford

The 22nd anniversary celebration of Triumph of the Human Spirit was also a triumph of the human spirit as well.  Kevin Nathaniel performed “Chernutengure” (traditional Zimbabwean). Laurie Cumbo, Commissioner of New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; Curtis Archer, president at Harlem Community Development Corporation; HRM Queen Mother Dowoti Desir, and musicians Eric Frazier, Kevin Nathaniel, Gene Osborne, Willie White, Kenny Anderson were among those who participated in weaving history and art to magically transport the audience toward deeper meaning and a visceral experience.

In addition, EUROPA (125 Division Street, NYC), a Manhattan gallery, is presenting Dr. Pace’s first solo show in NYC, Lorenzo Pace: Selected Works from October 7–November 6.  On view are “a selection of Pace’s rarely-seen assemblage sculptures created from 1984–2017 highlighting a more improvisational side of the artist’s practice,” says the gallery’s description.  Pace’s pieces in the show are composed of found materials and are inspired by family history and 20th century cultural references.

“Lorenzo Pace is a Williamsburg treasure for his inspiring, soaring art that celebrates African American freedom and aspiration of Triumph of the Human Spirit,” said Michael Rochford, exec. dir. of St. Nicks Alliance.

Installation piece by Dr. Lorenzo Pace: The Sun, the Beginning and End of our Lives; 2022. Mutsvairo brooms, mops, paint, lights, straw mat, confetti. Photo credit: Michael Rochford

Dr. Pace was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He moved to Chicago with his family. He earned his BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and his PhD from Illinois State University.  A major inspiration was the discovery that a lock given to him at his father’s funeral belonged to Steve Pace, his great-great-grandfather, who was shackled by that lock when he was brought to America as a slave.  A replica of this lock is contained in the base of the Triumph of the Human Spirit sculpture.

EUROPA mentions Lorenzo Pace: Selected Works was scheduled to coincide with the 22nd anniversary celebration of the Triumph of the Human Spirit, which was held on Sunday, October 23, 2022.

Lorenzo Pace: Selected Works will be shown at EUROPA (125 Division Street, NYC) from October 7 to November 6.  Gallery hours are Thurs.—Sunday/ 12–6 p.m.

Author: The Greenline

Your monthly source for North Brooklyn community news covering Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Currently 13,000 copies are distributed throughout the community free of charge. Articles published with The Greenline byline includes content cited directly from press releases or published statements and/or is the work of a combination of vetted authors or sources.

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