Update on ‘Victory’ Beyond Sims by Vinnie Bagwell on Museum Mile in East Harlem




Victory Beyond Sims by Vinnie Bagwell. Image via CB11, May 15, 2024

Those who have been watching the empty pedestal on Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, formerly holding the statue of J. Marion Sims, will be pleased to hear that there was an update at a recent CB11 meeting, with artist Vinnie Bagwell and Department of Cultural Affairs, David Mandel, presenting illustrations and answering questions.

Timeline for Victory Beyond Sims by Vinnie Bagwell courtesy the artist and CB11, May 15, 2024

Considering this projects history, dating back to before 2019, with proposals, presentations, a vote and some video in my archives that I dare not share, the above image will answer the most pressing question ~ when will we see a monument on that empty pedestal?

The conceptual Design Presentations to Community Boards and Elected Officials will be concluding next week. A conceptual design review by Landmarks Preservation Commission should take place this Summer (2024), followed by a conceptual design review by the Public Design Commission. These two reviews are the critical next step before the design goes to fabrication.

When will we see ‘Victory“? The artist indicated this is a two-year project after the reviews are completed. If all goes well, we could expect an unveiling in 2 1/2-3 years.

That being said, let’s take a look at the project so far.

Victory Beyond Sims by Vinnie Bagwell. Image courtesy of the artist and CB11, May 2024

Illustrating the various sides of the sculpture, the monument is meant to tell a story, from the images in her skirt to the ‘light of knowledge’ coming from her hand. She will stand approximately Nine-feet high, with wings reaching up another three to four feet, complimented by an ornate gate behind her, allowing for a view of Central Park beyond.

The rainbow granite base is set low, at about eighteen inches high, for viewers to easily be able to engage with the monument ~ even sit on the pedestal.

Proposed layout of the monument, Victory, by Vinnie Bagwell. Image courtesy of the artist and CB 11, May 2024

Keeping with the integrity of that part of Central Park, the monument background ~ the gate ~ will compliment the Vanderbilt Gate, the entrance to the Conservancy Garden just two blocks away, across the street from El Museo del Barrio at 105th Street. The monument is set in such a way that viewers will be able to walk around it.

illustration of the gate for Victory by artist Vinnie Bagwell. Image courtesy of the artist and CB11, May 2024

Vinnie Bagwell is a figuratieve sculptor living and working in Yonkers, New York. Her creative working collaborative partner on this project is the Baltimore, Maryland company BCT Design Group. Her fabricator, also in Baltimore, will be G. Krug and Son.

Illustration of Victory by Vinnie Bagwell. Image courtesy of the artist and CB11, May 2024

Read about the proposals for this project.

Victory by Vinnie Bagwell one of the many Percent for Art Project commissions, part of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. Read about the very first Percent for Art project, Growth by artist Jorge Luis Rodriguez in 1985, a permanent installation located in the East Harlem Art Park.

Stay tuned for updates from Percent for Art as the project moves forward.

If you’re planning on being in East Harlem this weekend, stop by Marcus Garvey Park on Saturday, May 18th for the annual Harlem Wellness Festival. This is a chance to meet the strong network of minority and women-owned businesses in the East Harlem community, related to health and wellness.

Come back on Sunday for the Annual Mt Morris Park Stoop Sale!

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