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Renowned Artist Dread Scott to Speak at Loyola University of New Orleans

Loyola press release - November 6, 2017

Contemporary multidisciplinary artist Dread Scott will visit campus this week for a special lecture on his career, which spans three decades, and his art’s impact on social justice. The lecture is part of the Mark Grote Visiting Artist Lecture Series for 2017-2018, presented by the Loyola University New Orleans Department of Art.

Scott first received national attention as a student in 1989 for his controversial use of the U.S. flag in an “installation for audience participation” titled What is the Proper Way to Display a U.S. Flag? that he created as a student at the School of Art Institute of Chicago. Former President G.H.W. Bush called his piece “disgraceful,” and the U.S. Senate outlawed it when they passed legislation to “protect the flag.” His more recent multidisciplinary projects address slavery, race, incarceration, war, and government repression.

“I make revolutionary art to propel history forward,” Scott writes in his artistic statement. “The thread that connects my work is an engagement with sharp social questions confronting humanity and a desire to push formal and conceptual boundaries.”

Scott works in a range of media including performance, installation, video, photography, printmaking, and painting. His work has been included in recent exhibitions at MoMA PS1, the Walker Art Center, and the Pori Art Museum in Finland and is featured in the collections of the Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Akron Art Museum.

“We’re excited to host Dread Scott because his work speaks to what is going on in America today in politics and addresses important issues in society, particularly regarding the African-American community and the way they’re being treated,” said Mark Grote, namesake for the visiting artist series and visual arts professor. “He is a great fit for Loyola — and for any university — because it’s important to have those conversations on college campuses.”

Grote said that the lecture is open to the public but will be of particular interest to art students, activists, members of African-American student organizations, and students with an interest in social justice issues.

“These are troubling times on multiple levels, and many of the things Dread Scott addresses in his art are hot button issues for our country and even the world,” said Loyola art historian and Art Department chair Fr. Gregory Waldrop, S.J., Ph.D. “His work intends to provoke both thought and action, and we’re hopeful that his lecture and his engagement with Loyola students will help them appreciate art’s unique power to focus people's attention on the challenges that we face as a society. Not everyone may share his viewpoint or approach—many have been offended by Dread Scott's work, in fact—but the larger issues of justice and human dignity are ones we all have to acknowledge and confront."

Dread Scott will speak at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Room 268 of Monroe Hall at Loyola, 6363 St. Charles Ave. This event is free and open to the public and free parking is available in the West Road parking garage.