Hats off to Professor Mark Grote

Visual Arts Professor W. Mark Grote and his exhibition.
Visual Arts Professor W. Mark Grote and his exhibition.

Visual Arts Professor W. Mark Grote brought his exhibit of giant hats inspired by 15th century frescos of Piero Della Francesca to Loyola last summer. "The Hats of Piero Della Francesca" were displayed in Dixon Court, located at the St. Charles Avenue entrance of the Communications/Music Complex.

Grote gained initial inspiration for the project while on a Fulbright Fellowship in Italy in 1992. While there, he visited the Church of San Francesco in Arezzo, Italy, where he saw Francesco's "Story of the True Cross." Grote was struck by the motif of hats throughout the work. It wasn't until 15 years later that he was able to research the hats more fully and bring an idea for a sculptural exhibit to fruition.

In 2007, Grote was accepted into the artists and scholars program at the American Academy in Rome. During this time, he researched and visited museums that contained many of Francesca's works. The following spring, he began work on the sculptures in his studio in Covington, La., with the help of an Atlas Grant awarded by the Louisiana Board of Regents. At the time the grants were awarded to Grote, only three visual artists in the state had received this award. Two have been from Loyola - Professor Jerry Cannon was another recipient.

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