July 16, 2021

Montserrat College of Art Founding Faculty member Reno “Ray” Pisano, 99, officially unveiled his Frederick Douglass bronze relief sculpture yesterday during a ceremony at Frederick Douglass Park in Lynn. The project has been years in the making and Pisano was proud and excited to see the completion of the project,  supported by Sen. Brendan Crighton of Lynn.

LYNN ITEM    JULY 15, 2021


Lynn — Nahant sculptor Reno “Ray” Pisano’s Frederick Douglass statue has finally made its way to Lynn.

The sculpture of the late abolitionist leader with ties to the city was officially mounted Thursday morning in the new Central Square park which bears his name.

The memorial was placed so that it will look over Frederick Douglass Park for years to come.

“If anything goes on here, I want him to be a piece of it,” said Pisano, who could not find a word in the English language to describe the long-awaited event.

“Finalmente,” said the Nahant resident, which translates from Italian to ‘finally.’

“We waited unnecessarily long for all the various things to happen,” he added.

State Sen. Brendon Crighton (D-Lynn), who spearheaded the push for the downtown park, said he was excited that the donated sculpture had finally arrived at its permanent home.

“This has been a long process both for the legislation, dealing with the development on the waterfront and the creation of the park,” said Crighton. “Also, the official building being signed into law, naming it Frederick Douglass Park; it was the great work of a legend, Ray Pisano, who contributed so much to Lynn, finally being complete and in place.”

The location of the memorial was intentional, Pisano said, as it was mounted as close as possible to where Douglass was thrown off a train car reserved for whites at the Central Square Station in 1841.

Pisano described Thursday as a “hallelujah” day, explaining that he has been waiting nearly two years to see his statue mounted in the park and named after Douglass. For Pisano, who brought friends and family to witness the momentous occasion, being able to bring people together was central to his endeavor.

“We have too many of us who separate from the rest of us and become individualist, and their philosophy is not explainable,” he said, “but when you are one of a crowd, in mutual sympathy, it’s fantastic and I think we are having that right now.”

Crighton said he expects the new park will open soon, an occasion set to include a formal dedication and the attendance of several city and state officials.