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Thursday, December 3, 2009

George Rodrigue Visits Baton Rouge High School

On December 2, 2009, George Rodrigue visited with students at Baton Rouge Magnet High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. During the two-hour visit to their art studio classroom, Rodrigue gave students an insight on what it takes to be an artist.

He traced his beginnings as a young student in New Iberia, Louisiana through his professional art training at the College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, CA. Rodrigue was also able to give them a bit of an art history lesson on how art has evolved and the importance of knowing how art has changed over time.

The purpose of the visit was to help further along the mission of George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts to help develop our youth through art in education. Additionally, Rodrigue gave insights to the high school seniors on how to approach their entries for this year's first annual GRFA Art Contest for Louisiana High School Seniors.

George was so happy to be able to donate a collection of his books and a signed and dedicated "We Are Marching Again" print to the school for display.

We want to again thank principal Nanette Greer and art teacher Heather Hogg for allowing us to come to their school. And, we would especially like to thank all of the students that sacrificed their sleep in order to meet us before school at 5:00 A.M. for the lecture and art lesson. It was a great day for us and our foundation!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rodrigue on WWL-TV (CBS) New Orleans

Watch the YouTube video of:

WWL-TV (CBS) Channel 4 New Orleans Morning News

George and Jacques Rodrigue discuss the new children's book "Are You Blue Dog's Friend" and the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts 2010 Art Contest. Interview by Eric Paulsen.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

George Rodrigue and Art Contests

In honor of our launch of the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts Art Contest, Wendy Rodrigue gives us some history on George and art competitions in her blog. And, she gives contestants some great advice on how to win the contest:

What will he look for in judging these works? The foundation's website lists several categories, all of which I’m sure he’ll take into consideration. But if you’re reading this, and you’ve decided to go for it, remember these tidbits:

-George Rodrigue was confused and offended when he was disqualified from an art contest simply because his work did not look like everyone else’s.

-He claims that the only artist to ever inspire him is Salvadore Dali, because he had fantastic, original ideas.

-The best piece of advice he ever received is to “treat your painting as though it is a jewel, because if it is precious to you, it will be precious to others as well.”

-Never, ever paint giant magnolia blossoms.
(Make sure you read the whole blog entry if you plan on entering!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rodrigue Creates Miniature House for Charity

From the New York charity Women in Need press release:

New York, NY—renowned designers, sports stars, Broadway performers and other VIPs have come together to decorate papier mache houses for Women In Need, one of New York City’s largest providers of shelter and services for homeless families. Working with the theme “Home is Where the Heart Is,” the participating designers have created one-of-a-kind gems--the perfect feel-good gift or decorative item for the holidays.

Over the past 25 years, Women In Need has provided housing, help and hope to homeless families. Contrary to popular conceptions of homelessness in New York City, families constitute 80 percent of all New Yorkers in the shelter system. Every night, approximately 10,000 families sleep in NYC shelters, including more than 16,000 children. WIN helps a great many of those children, and the rest of their families, in six transitional shelters in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn as well as permanent supportive housing throughout the city.

The auction will take place starting November 9th on charitybuzz.com and will end on Monday, November 30th. Houses have been designed by Sean Avery; Lidia Bastianich; Victoria & David Beckham; Halle Berry; Mary J. Blige; Chris “Ludacris” Bridges; Bobbi Brown; Cast of the Broadway Musical Hair; Sean “Diddy” Combs; Oscar de la Renta; Cheyenne Jackson; Donna Karan; Monica Rich Kosann; Dylan Lauren; Richard Leach for Park Avenue Autumn; Deborah Lloyd for Kate Spade; Jennifer Lopez; Isaac Mizrahi; Moby; Debra Messing; Josie Natori; George Rodrigue; Cameron Silver for Decades; Justin Timberlake & Trace Ayala; Today Show Anchors; Diane Von Furstenberg; Vera Wang. Additionally, Parsons The New School for Design collaborated on several of the house designs. Several of the houses have been embellished courtesy of CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements.

Saks Fifth Avenue will feature the houses in their Manhattan flagship windows from November 5th – 9th. The auction will launch at an event hosted by Park Avenue Autumn on November 9th in New York City. Event co-hosts include Myla Lerner & Larry Kramer; Deborah Roberts & Al Roker; and Karin & Steve Sadove.

For more information about the auction or Women In Need, please visit

Monday, October 19, 2009

GRFA 2010 Art Contest

Announcing the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts 2010 Art Contest. We are offering $30,000 dollars in college scholarships to Louisiana High School seniors. Students are asked to create a piece of visual art based upon George Rodrigue's theme "Louisiana: The State We Love"

Help us spread the word!

Learn more information here:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

George Visits a 4th Grade Art Class in Memphis, TN

From Wendy's Blog:

presented his ideas for an hour to an art class of one hundred fourth graders at Memphis’s Presbyterian Day School. They are recreating his painting The Millennium (which makes George the only artist to actually visit, since their previous projects were The Mona Lisa, Starry Starry Night, and American Gothic). Once again, as with the NOMA tours, I was reminded of young children and their ability to see and ask great questions. Their overriding curiosity was in how George processes his thoughts. One child asked, “But explain to me how you figured that out?” And another, “But how did you think of doing it that way” And yet another, “How did you know that was a good idea?”
Read the rest of Wendy's account of their time in Memphis and their visit to the Le Bonheur's Children's Hospital and Graceland on her blog here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

GRFA and Children's Hospitals

Another important way that GRFA will help develop our youth is by teaming up with Children's Hospitals to try to help lift their patients spirits through art. Recently, George visited Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center in Memphis, TN to conduct an informal workshop with some of the children there.

You can read about the visit in this article from the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lt. Governor Landrieu announces $50,000 Arts Education Dana Foundation Grant

We at GRFA are please to see that Louisiana is continuing its efforts to infuse our education with the arts. From an August 19, 2009, press release from Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu's office:

BATON ROUGE – Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu today announced that the Dana Foundation has selected the Louisiana Division of the Arts, an agency of the Office of Cultural Development in the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, to receive a $50,000 States Arts Learning Initiative Grant. This award follows the success of the Louisiana team at the 2008 Education Leaders Institute, hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts. At the Institute, the team focused on creating a model for the implementation of Act 175 . . . these funds will be used for the planning and implementation of a model school program for our state. This is a comprehensive arts education program that will be implemented in select Louisiana public schools during the 2010/2011 school year.

In Louisiana, arts education has become a key component for policies and initiatives ranging from economic development to school improvement. Landrieu championed arts education curriculum in 2007, working with legislators to unanimously pass a bill requiring the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) to develop, adopt, and implement a visual and performing arts curriculum in public schools.

We look forward to working with the State and offering any help that we can in order to bring more arts in education to the classroom.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Print Sales to Non-Profits

GRFA offers a unique opportunity for other non-profits by allowing them to purchase a signed silkscreen print of our choice for their fundraising event for $500. (Limited to one print per year per organization).

These prints are specifically designed as a fundraising vehicle for non-profits to raffle or auction directly to their supporters. They are not for sale in any Rodrigue Gallery or elsewhere to the general public. These prints are highly collectible and even priceless, because they are only accessible to the general public through a donation to a non-profit organization.

In the past two years, similar prints have raised thousands of dollars at fund-raising events. However, if the print you purchase does not provide your organization with funds exceeding your original $500 investment, GRFA will accept the print’s return and refund your $500.

History of Relief Efforts

Blue Dog Relief began on September 11th, 2001, when Rodrigue created God Bless America in response to the tragic events of that day. The edition of one thousand prints sold out within weeks, raising $500,000 for the American Red Cross. This experience clarified for Rodrigue how he could sell his artwork to benefit causes important to him.

Perhaps foreshadowing GRFA, Rodrigue designed Honesty in 2003, raising $350,000 for the International Child Art Foundation. With ICAF he hosted a week long workshop for children from one hundred countries and all fifty states on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Together these children of varying languages and backgrounds created a “Pyramid of Peace,” using art as the international language.

But it was following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in August 2005 that Blue Dog Relief moved to the top of Rodrigue’s priority list. With the prints We Will Rise Again, You Can’t Drown the Blues, Throw Me Something F.E.M.A., and We Are Marching Again, Rodrigue raised $1.5 million for the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the Red Cross, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the United Way, the Brees Dream Foundation (pictured) and countless smaller non-profits.

To date, George Rodrigue’s relief efforts, combined with the enthusiasm and generosity of his collectors, have raised $2.5 million towards helping our world. With the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts, Rodrigue embarks on a new mission to focus primarily on child development through the visual arts.

Monday, July 20, 2009

George Rodrigue Foundation

In 2009, George Rodrigue formed GRFA as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. In addition to providing financial assistance in the arts and other areas, GRFA will plan, develop, and implement a series of unique educational art programs that are specially designed to enhance and expand art curriculums, despite continuing state and federal cutbacks.

GRFA Objective

Student success at any age depends on self-confidence, specifically the belief in one’s own ability to walk on the moon, or fight fires, or raise a family, or perform on Broadway. Research proves that personal growth benefits from creative expression and that artistic accomplishment provides students the self-esteem needed for success in all areas of life. However, due to budget shortfalls and misperceptions, schools find it increasingly difficult to incorporate art in education.

George Rodrigue wants to reverse this trend. As a young boy he dreamed of being an artist, and as an adult he credits the support of his parents and teachers with helping him realize that dream.

Over the years, Rodrigue has assisted numerous non-profits, not only in the arts, but also humanitarian organizations, disaster relief, animal welfare and others. But today, although not entirely abandoning other worthwhile causes, his primary focus is to expose children to education in the visual arts, hoping to inspire in others an early and on-going creative passion similar to his own.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

GRFA Mission

The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA) advocates the importance of the visual arts in the development of our youth. GRFA encourages the use of art within all curriculums and supports a variety of art educational programs.