*2020 Devra Freelander Artist Fellow

Artist Bio

Image courtesy the artist.

Patrick Costello’s work spans the disciplines of drawing, sculpture, gardening, and theater. He collaborates with other artists, participants, and viewers to create spaces for collective transformation, wild imagining, and utopian possibility.

Costello’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, as well as independent and alternative spaces nationally and abroad. He has performed in venues including Ars Nova (New York), the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center (Waterford), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia), Space Gallery (Portland), and Ohranimo Tovarno Rog (Ljubljana). Patrick has held residencies with New City Arts (Charlottesville), ACRE (Chicago), and HewnOaks Artist Colony (Lovell).

Costello completed his MFA in Combined Media at Hunter College in 2018. He lives and works in a seven-person collective house in Brooklyn, where he maintains a small wildflower meadow on the roof.


*Costello was named the 2020 Devra Freelander Artist Fellow in memory of Devra Freelander, who participated in The 2017 Socrates Annual. Donate to the Devra Freelander Fund>


‘Ceding Ground’, 2020Native plants; leaf mulch; and soil24.5 × 28 feet
Images by Patrick Costello and Ben Simon; James Chrzan; and Sara Morgan

About ‘Ceding Ground’

An empty center holds space for the contemplation of history’s relationship to current conflicts in this garden, which is rendered to match the dimensions of decorative plantings surrounding the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, VA – the site of the infamously violent Unite the Right rally in 2017. Costello replaces Classical-style low hedges, English boxwoods, Japanese hollies and peonies – all associated with the United States’ colonial slavery-fueled economy – with plant species native to the region surrounding Socrates for centuries before European colonization.

Thank You: Ben Simon, Evelyn Manlove, Pawel Pieluszynski, and Glover Perennials for their contributions to this project.

Audio Guide

To hear the artist speak about their work, dial (646) 217-4440 then press 1, then 0, and then “#” key. Or click below.




‘MONUMENTS NOW: Call and Response’