Photo of the Week: Heads up

Author: Claire Radler '19

Potwheads Photo by Matt Cashore '94

Last fall, Notre Dame students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to be immortalized for a new permanent art installation in Duncan Student Center. Using 3D scanning, their heads were "captured" by sculptor Ralph Helmick in November 2017.


He spent the last year turning these scans into more than 4,100 small pewter heads. The finished product is called Edifice, a three-dimensional portrait of the Main Building, one of Notre Dame’s best-known civic icons. 


As shown in this photo snapped by University photographer Matt Cashore '94, the ping pong ball-sized heads, which were installed in October of this year, hang from 2,221 cables suspended above the student center’s central food court. The sculpture is comprised of multiples of around 50 distinct heads selected from the 100+ students, staff and faculty who participated in the 3D scanning.


Most of the portraits are silver, but those comprising the dome have a golden sheen. The rest make up the building and the ground outside.


Edifice’s goal is to engage viewers in the inclusive experience that embodies Notre Dame’s commitment to diversity. 


According to the University, “We — those depicted in the sculpture and all those they represent — are all Notre Dame.” 


Photo of the Week highlights images of notable happenings on campus and in the Notre Dame family around the world. Have a snapshot you think we should see? Email to be considered for publication.


Claire Radler '19 was a Fall 2018 intern at this magazine.