Multiple small-scale studies of Frank Hayden’s famed downtown Baton Rouge sculpture “Head of Oliver Pollock” are part of LASM’s exhibition on the renowned local artist. Courtesy LASM.

Standing Strong

Galleries are dark. Field trips are cancelled. But even as museums around the city experience coronavirus-related closures, local art lovers look forward to a day in the not-so-distant future when new exhibitions will highlight the remarkable achievements of Capital City creators. Foremost among these is Frank Hayden, the late sculptor and Southern University professor whose bold and broad body of work will be the focus of the Louisiana Art & Science Museum’s upcoming show.

Slated to be on view when the museum reopens its doors, “Frank Hayden: Lift Every Voice” is scheduled to run through September 6, allowing Baton Rougeans and visitors to gain a greater appreciation for the internationally famous artist’s distinctive style. The exhibition will feature pieces from public and private collections, including some that are being displayed in a museum setting for the first time.

Fittingly, Hayden’s legacy also lives on all year long—pandemic or no pandemic—through public sculptures all around downtown as well as on local university campuses and in Baton Rouge houses of worship. What Hayden loved most, art historians say, was for his work to be accessible by all. As the artist himself once wrote, “The prospect of beauty is constant and is all that is needed to guide by hand and heart.”