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Friday, March 16, 2018

Community Leaders & Arts Professionals Judge Art Contest

For the past two weeks, final round judges for the 2018 Art Contest have come to the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts in New Orleans to see and score the 16 finalists' pieces. These community leaders and arts professionals have determined how the finalists will place for the Art Contest.

Judges score the student artwork at the Rodrigue Foundation.

We will announce which scholarships each student has won at the Scholarship Awards Luncheon on Saturday, March 24th in New Orleans. If you'd like to join us for this special celebration, tickets can be purchased here.

Marcela Correa (Arts District of New Orleans) and Matthew Weldon Showman (Jonathan Ferrara Gallery) score pieces by senior finalists.

Thank you to the following individuals for serving as final round judges in the 2018 Art Contest: 

Laura Ashley
Partner, Jones Walker LLC

Alex Beard
The Alex Beard Studio

Nadine Blake
Designer, Nadine Blake

Jordan Blanton
Co-Owner, LeMieux Galleries

Ellen Buckley
Director of Fundraising Events, National World War II Museum

Martine Chaisson
Martine Chaisson Gallery

Marcela Correa
Director, Arts District New Orleans

Marilyn Dittmann
Associate Director of Philanthropy, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

Robyn Dunn Schwarz
Matthew Clayton Brown

Dathel Georges
The Advocate

Wayne Hardaway
SLS Arts

David Harouni
Harouni Gallery

T.G. Harrington

Nicelle Harrington

Jane Scott Hodges
Founder & Owner, Leontine Linens

Jelena James
Director of Fine Art Consignments, New Orleans Auction Galleries

Phil King
SLS Arts

Paul Leaman
New Orleans Silversmiths

Ashley Longshore
Ashley Longshore Gallery

Meg Miles
Executive Director, YAYA

Barbara Motley
Louisiana State Arts Council

Biff Motley
Motley & Associates

Nicole Ockmond
Musician/Owner Emovere Recordings

Mallory Page
Mallory Page Studio

Brian Piper
Curatorial Fellow in Photography, New Orleans Museum of Art

Raiza Pitre
Cox Communications

Jim Qualls
Gallery Director, The Alex Beard Studio

Monica Ramirez-Montagut
Director, Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University

Miranda Restovic
President & Executive Director, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

Kathy Rodriguez
Instructor, Department of Fine Arts, University of New Orleans

Christa Schwartz
Domain Companies

Sam Seelig
SLS Arts

Kristin Shannon
General Manager, Orpheum Theater

Matthew Weldon Showman
Gallery Director, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery

Alphonse Smith
Director, Place + Civic Design, Arts Council New Orleans

Gary Solomon, Jr.
Solomon Group

Emery Sonnier
Link Stryjewski Foundation

Bradley Sumrall
Curator, Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Jennifer Van Vrancken
Councilwoman, Jefferson Parish

Kyle Wedberg
President/CEO, NOCCA

Christy Wood
Co-Owner/Gallery Director LeMieux Galleries

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wendy Rodrigue Continues Life and Legacy Tour

A grand welcome for Wendy Rodrigue at River Oaks in Monroe, LA, during the first part of the Life and Legacy Tour.

This week Wendy Rodrigue will resume the George Rodrigue Life and Legacy Tour with twelve extended stops, primarily focused on schools in Louisiana. It all began last fall as a way of sharing George's life and art (and image!) with students at arts integrated schools throughout the state. Louisiana A+ Schools, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is a whole-school teaching method in which every subject is taught through the visual or performing arts.

Speaking to students at Ridge Elementary School in Duson, LA. This school is one of 18 LAA+ Schools across the state.

Wendy shares, "I'm always grateful for opportunities to share George with others, and I couldn't resist expanding the tour when possible to include schools outside of the LAA+ network. It's a wonderful experience ---as exciting for me as for the students--- many of them exposed for the first time ever to original Rodrigue paintings, which I carry with me in George's truck ---the same truck he and I traveled in for years, visiting schools across the country."

Students at The Dufrocq School enjoy a presentation featuring original works of art by George Rodrigue.

The Life and Legacy Tour continues across Louisiana schools, and this time will encompass schools within and outside of the LAA+ Network. Below are Wendy Rodrigue's upcoming stops. To follow the latest news from Wendy Rodrigue and read her extensive writing about the life and artwork of George Rodrigue, visit her website Musings of an Artist's Wife.

Life and Legacy Tour Schedule
(Events in BOLD are open to the public.)

March 15
St. Helena Learning Center and St. Helena Arts and Technology Academy (both LAA+ Schools) in Greensburg, LA

March 20
St. Peter School in Covington, LA

March 21
Ascension Episcopal School in Youngsville/Lafayette, LA

March 22
Most Blessed Sacrament School in Baton Rouge, LA

March 23
Singing River Academy (Gauthier, MS) at Rodrigue Studio in New Orleans

March 24
George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts Scholarship Art Contest Awards Luncheon in New Orleans. Details and tickets here.

March 24
New exhibition Rodrigue's Swirling Vision: The Sun, Cosmos, and Hurricanes opens at Rodrigue Studio in New Orleans, 6-8 PM, FREE and open to the public. Learn more.

March 26
Epiphany Day School (an LAA+ School) in New Iberia, LA

March 27
LSU Continuing Education, OLLI Felicianas Chapter, First Baptist Church, St. Francisville, 10 AM - 12 PM. FREE. Learn more.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Family Event at Children's Museum of St. Tammany

Now open! After a decade of planning, the Children's Museum of St. Tammany opened its doors on January 20.

Recently opened in Mandeville, Louisiana, the Children's Museum of St. Tammany is a dynamic place for children and families to explore, play, and learn. The Museum's Executive Director Amy Fresh shares, "The Children's Museum of St. Tammany provides an interactive learning environment allowing children of all ages to express their imaginations through creativity and play."

The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts is excited to announce that we will be at the Museum on Saturday, March 31, 2018, for a special book reading and art making family event.

Saturday, March 31, 2018
2:00 PM
Children's Museum of St. Tammany
21404 Koop Drive
Mandeville, LA 70471
Free with Museum Admission

Jacques Rodrigue reads Are You Blue Dog's Friend? to students.

GRFA's Executive Director Jacques Rodrigue will read Why Is Blue Dog Blue? and Are You Blue Dog's Friend?, George Rodrigue's two beloved children's books. After the stories, guests will participate in an art making activity inspired by Rodrigue's Blue Dog series.

A young visitor to at the Museum works on a creative project. (Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of St. Tammany)

We hope you and your family will join us for a creative afternoon at a wonderful new museum dedicated to inspiring children!

Friday, February 16, 2018

2018 Art Contest Finalists Announced!

Thank you to all of the students who entered the Scholarship Art Contest this year! We received over 600 incredibly creative entries from across the state for the theme of "Monsters, Myths, and Legends."

Sixteen (16) finalists have been selected by our first round of judges. These high school juniors and seniors will share over $45,000 in college scholarships, which will be given out at our Scholarship Awards Luncheon on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Mandeville Aioli Dinner Announced

The Aioli Dinner Supper Club invites you to celebrate the arts with a unique four-course wine dinner at the historic Mandeville home of Daniela and Elie Khoury on April 28, 2018!

This unique culinary experience inspired by George Rodrigue's iconic "Aioli Dinner" painting supports the arts in education initiatives of the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts.

Saturday, April 28, 2018
6:30 PM
At the Home of 
Daniela and Elie Khoury

Cuisine by
Chef Jeffrey Hansell

Executive Chef of Oxlot 9 in Covington, LA

Friday, February 2, 2018

Special Needs Artists and the Pink Dog

Last year the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts announced a special partnership with the East Jefferson YMCA for their Brushes, Buddies and Beyond class. This week we once again joined the program to share the artwork of George Rodrigue with these amazing young artists.

Brushes, Buddies and Beyond is a "painting party" style class specifically for individuals with special needs from ages 5 to 25. Each class features a different project or artist for students to explore.

When we visit the BBB program, participants create their own version of the George Rodrigue' s iconic Blue Dog image. This week, just in time for Valentine's Day, we painted You See the Love Over Me (2013), which features a pink version of the Blue Dog and red hearts.

Artists are all smiles painting the pink Blue Dog!

Group photo with all of the artists and East Jefferson YMCA volunteers.

If you know a young person with special needs who would like to explore their artistic side, please directly contact:

Jacquelyn Achord 
East Jefferson YMCA 
Youth and Family Program Director
(504)888-9622 ext. 104

Friday, January 19, 2018

Harvey Relief Print: Now Available Exclusively to Charity Organizations

We Will Rise Again (2017) is now available through the Print Donation Program.

Attention non-profit and charitable organizations!

The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts presents an exclusive fundraising opportunity to other non-profit organizations. Through GRFA's Print Donation Program, we are now offering We Will Rise Again (2017).

Originally created by George Rodrigue in 2005 to raise funds for humanitarian and art organizations after Hurricane Katrina, this special edition silkscreen print was re-released to the public in the wake of Hurricane Harvey to raise funds for schools impacted by the storm. Today, this print is only available to non-profits through the Print Donation Program.

Your organization can purchase the print for $500, which is 100% refundable should it not raise at least $500 at your charity event. GRFA's Print Donation Program has helped non-profits raise millions of dollars for their missions through these exclusive George Rodrigue prints.

There are seven Rodrigue prints to choose from for your charity auction or raffle! Click here to view all available prints. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018



Monsters, Myths, and Legends

Deadline EXTENDED: January 26, 2018, 5:00 PM

Awards: 15 finalists will share $45,000 in Scholarships!

Special Surprise Award for Top Three Schools with Most Entries

Thanks to an incredibly generous donation from Gamblin Artist's Colors, we are pleased to announce that the three schools with the highest number of entries in the 2018 Art Contest will receive a collection of professional grade oil paints for their classroom!!

These three schools will be announced when we announce the Art Contest finalists on February 16, 2018.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Harvey Relief Art Supplies Bring Smiles and Creativity to Classrooms

Executive Director Jacques Rodrigue shares the story of George Rodrigue's Blue Dog with students in Houston, TX.

Yesterday, 1st grade art students at Buffalo Creek Elementary received a special visit from Executive Director Jacques Rodrigue, who shared with them George Rodrigue's two children's books and led them in a sculpture activity.

Buffalo Creek Elementary in Houston, TX, is one of many schools in the area that has received $2,000 art supply kits through our Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts. In 2017, funds were raised through a special re-release of George Rodrigue's iconic "We Will Rise Again" silkscreen print.

Jacques Rodrigue shares, "We are so happy that we are able to help schools impacted by Hurricane Harvey by donating art supplies to them. Thank you to everyone in the Houston area who helped us in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina by purchasing Dad's "We Will Rise Again" Blue Dog image. And thank you to all of our collectors who stepped up in 2017 to purchase last year's re-release of the image."

Other schools have received their art supplies as well, and GRFA looks forward to awarding many more art supply kits to schools impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Kimi White, who is an Art Teacher at Bay Colony Elementary in Dickinson, TX, shared this photo of her young students proudly holding their art supplies.

Brookside Intermediate School in Friendswood, TX, shared their excitement as boxes of supplies began to arrive at the school.

Art students at Carver Magnet High School in Houston, TX, pose in front of their new art supplies. Their teacher Laura Luna shared, "A GIANT thank you for the wonderful art supplies and products! It was truly like Christmas. Thank you of making this a wonderful start to a great New Year."

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Help Us Spread Cheer & Creativity This Holiday Season!

Please consider a year-end donation to the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts and help keep the arts in Louisiana's classrooms. Your contribution supports arts in education for Louisiana's students and makes all of our programs possible.


Through the Annual Scholarship Art Contest, we award $45,000 in scholarships each year to creative high school students across the state.

Art Supplies

Through George's Art Closet, we award custom art supply kits to schools in need across Louisiana.

Teacher Training

Through Louisiana A+ Schools (LAA+), now its own non-profit organization, we transform schools by providing whole faculties with ongoing training and professional development focused on arts integration. Over 700 teachers have been trained in 18 schools statewide, impacting over 10,000 students.

Every donation of $50.00 or more will receive a special GRFA Blue Dog lapel pin designed by George Rodrigue! 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Great Holiday Gifts That Support Arts in Education

Looking for a holiday gift that gives back? The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts has great options, from Blue Dog silkscreen prints to cookbooks illustrated by some of Louisiana's most talented young artists. Your purchase will directly support our statewide arts in education programming! Check out the great gifts below for your holiday shopping.

"We Will Rise Again"
Hurricane Harvey Relief Edition

This year, GRFA and the Rodrigue family announced the re-release of George Rodrigue's historic post-Katrina Blue Dog silkscreen print We Will Rise Again to benefit schools throughout Texas and Louisiana impacted by Hurricane Harvey. This special edition will only be available to the public through the end of 2017. All proceeds from your purchase go toward providing art supplies to schools impacted by the storm.

Blue Dog Lapel Pin

Make a donation of $50.00 or more and receive GRFA's Blue Dog lapel pin designed by George Rodrigue.

The Pot & The Palette Cookbook

The Pot & The Palette Cookbook was produced in collaboration with the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation and features original artwork by Louisiana high school students who participated in our 2013 Art Contest. The Cookbook boasts over 100 delicious recipes by famous Louisiana chefs, including Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme, Leah Chase, and more!

All proceeds directly support GRFA's arts in education programs.

The Other Side of the Painting
by Wendy Rodrigue

Wendy Rodrigue's book The Other Side of the Painting derives from her popular blog Musings of an Artist's Wife. Her writing reveals the personal history behind George Rodrigue's art. She addresses in detail the early history of Rodrigue's Blue Dog, along with analysis and quotes from the artist describing some of his most famous work.

All proceeds directly support GRFA's arts in education programs.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

This #GivingTuesday Help Us Give the Gift of the Arts

Entering its sixth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. We know that many worthy organization need your support, but we hope you will consider contributing to the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts' mission of advocating for youth through the arts.

Your #GivingTuesday contribution supports arts in education for Louisiana's students and makes all of our programs possible. 

Through the Annual Scholarship Art Contest, we award $45,000 in scholarships each year to creative high school students across the state.

Art Supplies
Through George's Art Closet, we award custom art supply kits to schools in need across Louisiana.

Teacher Training
Through Louisiana A+ Schools (LAA+), now its own non-profit organization, we transform schools by providing whole faculties with ongoing training and professional development focused on arts integration. Over 700 teachers have been trained in 18 schools statewide, impacting over 10,000 students.

Every donation of $50.00 or more will receive a special GRFA Blue Dog lapel pin designed by George Rodrigue!

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Art Contest Deadline is Only 59 Days Away!

Monsters, Myths, and Legends

Deadline to Enter: January 19, 2018

Awards: 15 finalists will share $45,000 in Scholarships!

Monsters, myths, and legends have always inspired artists. Throughout his career, George Rodrigue breathed visual life into these stories, using his imagination to invent images and scenes associated with the tales, particularly those of the Cajun people. As a young boy in New Iberia, Louisiana, George's mother warned him, "If you're not good today, the Loup-garou will eat you tonight!" Years later, it was Rodrigue's artistic interpretation of the Loup-garou, or Cajun werewolf, that launched his iconic Blue Dog series.

Watchdog (1984), the first Blue Dog painting by George Rodrigue, is his interpretation of the Cajun loup-garou legend.

This year we invite Louisiana high school juniors and seniors to use their creativity to bring a monster, myth, or legend to life through an original work of art.

We encourage students to explore their own regional folklore like George Rodrigue did; however, we also welcome them to create their own unique monster, myth or legend through their art.

George Rodrigue with his painting Creature from the Black Lagoon (1960), which was created when the artist was 16 years old.

In 2013, George Rodrigue created a new version of Creature, a one-of-a-kind piece on chrome.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Wendy Rodrigue Shares "Life and Legacy" of George Rodrigue with Students

The 18 schools that make up the Louisiana A+ Schools network have been in for a treat this Fall. As part of a special "Life and Legacy Tour", author Wendy Rodrigue has been visiting each of these schools to share the life and artwork of George Rodrigue.

She says of her experiences visiting the schools, "Touring Louisiana A+ Schools is a natural for me to further honor George. He believed, as do I, in arts integration in all aspects of life -- especially education -- which is why the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts has supported LAA+ Schools from its inception."

(Above) Wendy Rodrigue speaks to students at Rollins Place Elementary in Zachary, LA. (Below) Wendy shares George Rodrigue's final self portrait with students at The Dufrocq School in Baton Rouge, LA. 

The idea for the tour was born at The Dufrocq School in Baton Rouge, LA, when a student casually asked Wendy Rodrigue, "What did he look like?" From there, the idea of sharing his self portrait seemed like a great way to answer this question.

Now each of the 18 LAA+ Schools will receive George Rodrigue's final self portrait from 2013, which he created via digital composition. The framed image will be displayed prominently at each school and also features the following quote by the artist:

"Sixty years later I still paint the way I felt as a child. I emphasize to students how important it is to retain that innocence, and that it's okay to create art in this way."

George Rodrigue's final self portrait, created in 2013, was donated by Wendy Rodrigue to each of the 18 Louisiana A+ Schools.

Reflecting on the tour, she shares, "It is in large part because of George's efforts that the arts are a daily and integral part of the educational experience at Louisiana A+ Schools; and it is imperative that every student recognizes not only his art and name, but also his kind and beautiful face."

(Top left) Wendy shares original works of art by George Rodrigue with The Dufrocq School. (Top right) Principal Mary Harris helps unveil Rodrigue's self portrait at South Highlands Magnet Elementary in Shreveport, LA. (Bottom) Wendy reads "Why Is Blue Dog Blue?" to students at Messiah Montessori in Houma, LA. Read Houma Today's coverage of her visit to the school.

To read more about Wendy Rodrigue "Life and Legacy Tour" and the inspiration behind it, visit Musings of an Artist's Wife.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Relief: Schools Can Now Apply for a $2,000 Art Supply Kit

Open to Texas and Louisiana Schools Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

Thanks to the incredibly generous response of our friends and supporters, GRFA has raised significant funds through the re-release of the "We Will Rise Again" silkscreen print to support Texas and Louisiana schools impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

We are pleased to award special $2,000 art supply kits through our George's Art Closet program. The art supplies in each kit will be tailored to the needs of elementary, middle, or high school classrooms.

To be considered for a $2,000 kit, please use the link below to complete and submit your Harvey Relief application.

Thank you to everyone who has supported this campaign by purchasing the Hurricane Harvey edition of "We Will Rise Again." We will continue to sell this special print through the end of 2017 to raise even more funds for schools impacted by the storm.

We Will Rise Again, 2017 
A silkscreen print by George Rodrigue
27x18 inches
Open edition (closing Dec. 31, 2017)
Official Rodrigue estate stamped signature 
$500 plus shipping 

Read Now on Nola.com:

George Rodrigue photographed with "We Will Rise Again" (2005)

About "We Will Rise Again"

Each print includes a frameable statement by George Rodrigue, preceded by a message from his family:

We dedicate this special release of George Rodrigue's We Will Rise Again to all those affected by Hurricane Harvey and its devastating floods. Like all Louisianians, we recall the unconditional support and kindness shown towards us by our Texas neighbors following Hurricane Katrina. To you, and to our beloved home state, we share this artwork and these enduring words, written by George Rodrigue.

-Wendy, André, and Jacques, August 2017

"Those of us from south Louisiana grew up with the aftermaths of hurricanes Audrey, Betsy, Camille...and now Katrina. As in times before, 'We will rise again.' Tears and rising water threaten to drown us. But don't be deceived. The land may be under water, but the spirit of New Orleans and the culture of Louisiana hold their heads high.

We Will Rise Again shows the American flag covered with water. The blue dog is partly submerged, and its eyes, normally yellow, are red with a broken heart. Like a ship's SOS, the red cross on the dog's chest calls out for help.

Katrina hit me personally at ground zero. My immediate thought was for the safety of people I know, followed by the shock of seeing helicopters and boats alongside familiar street signs, as rescuers assisted people from rooftops and attics. For the second time in this young twenty-first century I sat at my easel weighted by personal sorrow and my desire to help, this time also reflecting on the devastation of my city and the suffering of my neighbors.

New Orleans has been home to my gallery and studio for sixteen years; it is where the Blue Dog was born. My wife is a third generation New Orleanian, and the Big Easy remains the 'big city' to my Cajun hometown of New Iberia. Wendy and I join thousands of New Orleans residents in our pledge to go HOME, to rebuild our city, and to pay tribute to those who lost their lives with a commitment to care for our citizens, embrace our culture, and make the good times roll...again."

-George Rodrigue, September 2005