Dr. Patten (on the right) with Doris Hunt and sculptor Guy J. Bellaver
at the dedication of reflections
Dr. C. Alfred Patten announces the creation of the Gratitude Project, whose purpose is to express the community’s gratitude, through the medium of public art, to the volunteers and leaders who have given so much of themselves to and for the city of St. Charles.
He explains the genesis of the project. “I am motivated by a desire to create a culture of gratitude in St. Charles. Gratitude is a very powerful emotion. It causes people to want to do things for others and their community. Healthy communities express gratitude in many ways, like the outpouring of gratitude for veterans, such as the (St Charles Arts Council’s) Celebrating Veterans event or businesses offering free meals or haircuts. We have chosen public art as our means of expressing gratitude.”
Dr. Patten was the creator and Project Manager for the reflections public art project, the stated intention of which was to “honor volunteerism, as exemplified by Max and Doris Hunt”. He says that he feels as though he took the public art “mantle” from Sharon Oie, and so decided to start another project to show the community’s gratitude to Sharon and her husband Vern Oie, long-time residents and active volunteers in St. Charles. He has put together a fundraising committee, and enlisted the St Charles Arts Council, the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, and the River Corridor Foundation for their assistance, and will be kicking that project off within the next month.
He felt that the Gratitude Project was not only a good idea for the new Oie sculpture project, but would also be another in the lineage of sculptures of Colonel Baker and Dellora Norris (projects for which Sharon Oie was the driving force), If I Could But Fly (also a project of the River Corridor Foundation and the DSCP’s Public Art Committee) and reflections – all of which share the common bond and motivation of community gratitude. The Oies happily agreed with that idea.
Larry Maholland, former St. Charles City Administrator and current volunteer for the River Corridor Foundation and the Oie sculpture project committee, said “When people value its architecture, history, public art, and traditions, a town becomes a community.”
For more information contact GratitudeProjectSTC@gmail.com.
About Dr. Patten:
Dr. C. Alfred Patten is the retired Senior Pastor of the Baker Memorial United Methodist Church. He believes the enjoyment, enhancement, and engagement with community is central to a meaningful, fulfilling life.