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Honorary degree recipient John Scott dies

Loyola press release - September 10, 2007

(New Orleans)—Artist and educator John T. Scott, one of New Orleans' most nationally renowned and respected visual artists, died September 1, at Methodist Hospital in Houston. He was 67. Scott, who had suffered from pulmonary fibrosis for years, died of complications from the disease and the surgeries he underwent to overcome it.

In May 2007, Loyola University New Orleans presented Scott with an honorary doctorate degree of Humane Letters. He was lauded for his enduring commitment to an aesthetic that embodies and commemorates the spirit of New Orleans, the experience of African-Americans and their forebears, and the often tragic, enduring, and hopeful human spirit. As a Jesuit university, Loyola values the arts as an expression of the human spirit and its role in liberating the human spirit. As an individual and artist, Scott epitomized what is at the essence of art.

Scott had been an ambassador for the rich cultural heritage of this region, incorporating blues, African, Caribbean, and Creole elements, and what has been called “optical jazz.” Scott, a Xavier University art professor since 1965, was best known for large-scale abstract sculptures that can be found in Woldenberg Park, De Saix Circle, City Park, and at the New Orleans Museum of Art. He also created small sculptures, drawings and prints, including the 1993 poster for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Scott was one of New Orleans’ pre-eminent artists and nationally known for his work in various media, including sculpture and printmaking. His works and exhibits have spread the essence of New Orleans to many other cities.

Survivors of Scott include his wife, Anna Rita Scott; son, Ayo Scott; four daughters, Maria Scott-Osborne, Tyra Joseph, Lauren Kannady, and Alanda Rhodes; and six granddaughters.