In early 2011, Mauren Lovett, Arts Director of New City Arts Initiative, and The Haven jointly applied for and were awarded a Bama Works grant to fund an artist in residence at The Haven. Enter Patrick Costello.
After graduating from UVA with a Studio Art degree, Patrick Costello spent another year in Charlottesville doing a Fellowship with the art department. He then spent some time gallivanting about, during which he worked for a puppet theater and also learned to print textiles. Although gallivanting is certainly his most developed skill, Patrick returned to Charlottesville in 2010 to co-found C’ville Foodscapes, a worker-owned business that designs, installs, and maintains food-producing gardens in and around Charlottesville.
The purpose of the grant was twofold. Firstly, we at The Haven strive to provide our guests with a wide array of enriching activities to engage in while they are here. To that end, Patrick volunteered at the front desk to get to know our community and every Thursday, collaborated with Susan Patrick to work on art projects alongside our guests. Together, they drew portraits, made cards, and most importantly, built relationships through positive interactions full of support and encouragement. Just the act of making art is going outside of the comfort zones for a lot of our guests, but our hope is that taking this risk in a safe environment motivates them to take other challenging positive steps in their lives and reminds them of their personal value and of what they are capable.
The second objective of the grant comes from one of our founding goals here at The Haven, which is to provide a space for people in need in our area. Similar to our guests experiencing trying times in their lives, it is difficult for artists to acquire a place to hone their crafts and create. Providing Patrick with a studio allowed him to focus on making his art while surrounded by a supportive and inspiring community. Additionally, opening our space up to Patrick opens the door for many others who may not otherwise engage in volunteering at The Haven.
In Patrick Costello’s own words:
“Susan and I wanted to work with the folks at the Haven to make a collaborative art project. We thought it was important that it would remain in the space upon completion, and that it may be able to change over time. We settled on “Haven Faces” — this large-scale any-media “painting” — because we thought it would allow for people to approach it in many ways. You could write, draw, collage, or paint on the board. Susan and I started by outlining a crowd of empty face shapes so that each participant could have a dedicated space to make their own contribution. The mural is about whatever the artists bring to it. There was an explicit lack of direction in terms of content. Our main goal was to help make something that expressed individual notions of creativity or beauty in the context of a larger composition.”
A huge thank you to Patrick Costello, Susan Patrick, Maureen Lovett, and all the guests who participated to brighten the walls of The Haven.