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St. Thomas of Villanova Church

St. Thomas of Villanova Church

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St. Thomas of Villanova Church
Paul Gavin, Pen & ink & watercolor, 2017

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Villanova Chapel

Paul Gavin Fine Art The St. Thomas of Villanova Church is Villanova University's landmark structure. Completed in in 1887 and refurbished in 1943, the Villanova Chapel has been Villanova students' best known and loved image and Villanova memory for now over 130 years.

Like his father Austin Gavin, Villanova College Class of 1943, and his sister Patricia, Villanova Class of 1989, Californian Paul Gavin came East to Villanova. Attending from 1971 — 1973 he started college looking at a possible medical career. He'd done some art during his life growing up but hadn't considered art as a career, however when he got to Villanova the beauty, richness and texture of the school and the entire area inspired him to change his major to Art.

By his sophomore year he was one of four Villanova Art majors and they took their studio art classes at Rosemont and he went on to get a degree in Studio Art in California and has since made a living at fine art ever since, painting seascapes, landscapes and cityscapes across the country and Europe. He also began supporting the US Marine Corps with his work in 1979 and along with his artist wife Kimberleigh has supported the Armed Forces and their families with their art at Air Shows and other events including Joint Base Andrews Open House in Maryland and Fleet Week New York City.

Paul had returned to campus many times. In April 2012 he came back with his father and in May 2012 he brought Kimberleigh to campus to see what she had been hearing about since their 1993 marriage. In addition to seeing the chapel he took both of them to the "hallowed grounds" of the old lacrosse field across from the Field House.

With the call sign "Kid California," Paul also played lacrosse at Villanova and in March 2016 returned to see his teammates for the first time in 43 years. This painting was created from sketches made on that trip.

Paul’s Villanova Chapel painting is featured in Win in your Life - Follow the Path of Champions by Michael London, Villanova Class of 1974. Paul and Michael were friends at Villanova and reconnected recently in a surprising coincidence that is recounted in the book.

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