Beacon Artist Pays Tribute to Charleston Victim

Portrays Ethel Lee Lance for exhibit

Principle Gallery in Charleston, S.C., asked nine artists, including Paul W. McCormack of Beacon, to each draw a victim of the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church for an exhibit to mark the first anniversary of the killings on June 17. The drawings were unveiled privately to the victim’s families at the gallery on May 29, followed by a public reception. A Tribute to the Emanuel Nine: A Portrait Project continues through June.

Paul McCormack in his studio (photo provided)
Paul McCormack in his studio (photo provided)

The portraits were donated to the families by the artists.

McCormack was asked to draw Ethel Lee Lance, 70, the mother of five children and a sexton at the church who had been a member there for 35 years. Her daughter, Sharon Risher, recalled that her mother loved fine perfumes. “After putting on the perfume she would always say, ‘God is sweet.’ ”

Ethel Lee Lance, by Paul McCormack (image provided)
Ethel Lee Lance, by Paul McCormack (image provided)

The artist said of his subject: “How I wish I could have met Ethel Lee Lance. As the portrait came to completion, I said to myself with an overwhelming sadness, ‘She looks truly beautiful and happy.’ It is my hope that Ethel’s family will find some comfort in my portrayal and all who view this portrait will feel the same.”

One Response to "Beacon Artist Pays Tribute to Charleston Victim"

  1. Rev. Sharon Risher   June 12, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks is just not enough to say after seeing the magnificent portrait. Thank you for seeing her heart. Forever grateful. –The Lance Family.