Published: December 14, 2020

Queensborough Community College’s Julia Rothenberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology, will hold a Q&A with artist and nurse Peter Pacheco.

First exhibited at the QCC Art Gallery in 2019, Pacheco will discuss current projects, social and political environments, and how the Covid-19 pandemic has influenced his art.

Should we leave out relationship?

Dr. Rothenberg first met Pacheco in the late ’80s in Brooklyn, where they discovered a shared passion for art and became fast friends.

“I always thought Peter’s work was remarkable,” said Rothenberg, who has taught for nine years at Queensborough.

“My own love for art inspired me to teach at Queensborough. I was given a tour of the campus, which included a visit to the Gallery. I was very impressed with its outstanding African Art collection, and the sleek, spacious interior. It is an amazing resource for the college community and the surrounding community as well.”

Of his work, Between Flesh and Brick, exhibited at the QCC Art Gallery last year, Rothenberg said: “Peter is, in a certain sense, an outsider artist. He has crafted his unique painterly language and vision without regard for art world status. As he puts it, ‘art is meant to communicate, to speak to an audience.’’’

To exhibition:



Pacheco said he was attracted to American abstract expressionism from the beginning.

“For me, it is closely connected with jazz from the same time period, which I love. In some ways, this informs my work,” the artist said.

A sickly child, he was raised in Denmark by his mother, a medical secretary.

She supported her young son’s budding interest in art and introduced him to an established sculptor whose early influence made Pacheco realize that art could provide a possible path for him.

Pacheco also had excellent art teachers in school. He received a superlative education at a free private school, Det Kongelige Vajsenhus. Having started as an orphanage, it was a school for children of single parents. It is financed by a monopoly on the publishing of hymnbooks for the Danish state church.

He then went on to Copenhagen’s Metropolitanskolen, considered one of the best schools in the country.

The student knew his life would be that of an artist. And to support his chosen career he would need a job that offered familiarity, relative brevity, and flexible work hours.

Pacheco applied and accepted an offer from Rigshopitalets Nursing School, a leading hospital that offers patients highly specialized care.

When Pacheco turned 30, he took all the skills he learned throughout his formative years with him to the U.S., to begin a new life, and launch his artistic career.

He was hired part-time at Goldwater Hospital, which later became the Henry J. Carter Specialty Hospital of Harlem North General. As of March 2020, Pacheco has been part of a team in charge of the Covid-19 intake unit.

“Of course this is a very sad time and I –along with all essential care givers—have an intimate perspective about those who continue to suffer from this terrible virus.”

WHAT: QCC Art Gallery’s Virtual Artist Talk with Peter Pacheco.

WHEN: Thursday, December 17, 2020 from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

WHERE:  The event is prerecorded on Zoom and will be on YouTube, and the Gallery’s webpage beginning December 17.

Art gallery - Exhibitions Details (cuny.edu)







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