Hometown Expressions

Hoosier creator’s art comes full circle in ‘Stephen Pace in Indiana’

Radiant paintings of Stephen Pace, one of Indiana art’s favorite sons, are waiting for you in a new exhibition at the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science.

“It’s the classic ‘hometown boy makes good’ story,” says Susan Colaricci Sauls, director of university art collections at the University of Southern Indiana, which facilitated many of the pieces on display.

Photo by Adin Parks

Local ties bookend Pace’s art career. Born in Missouri in 1918, Pace grew up on Midwest farms and moved to New Harmony, Indiana, as a teenager. Horses were his favorite subjects to sketch. His first show was in New Harmony and first formal art training from artist Robert Lahr, who taught at the Evansville Museum.

By the 1950s, Pace had risen to international fame in the New York school of abstract expressionists.

After a six-decade career in New England, Pace and wife Palmina returned to New Harmony in 2007 and opened the Palmina F. and Stephen S. Pace Galleries at USI in 2008. Pace died two years later.

This history flows through the vibrant, autobiographical art in “Stephen Pace in Indiana,” the Evansville Museum’s first major Pace exhibition since 1992.

Many pieces symbolize his late brothers and their farming life, as well as reflect the progression of Pace’s style.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to see a large body of work by such an accomplished artist,” says Mary Bower, Evansville Museum’s retiring executive director.


Through Sept. 8 at the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science, 411 S.E. Riverside Drive

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