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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rodrigue — Cajuns to Blue Dogs (1/23)

Thank you so much to Karen Wink at American Press for posting this video about our visit to Lake Charles. According to American Press:

Friday and Saturday, Jan. 21-22, marked the opening of George Rodrigue's art exhibit — "Blue Dogs and Cajuns: George Rodrigue and the New Orleans Museum of Art," at the Imperial Calcasieu Museum. The two-day opening celebration included a reception on Friday and "Sidewalk Chalk with George"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Louisiana Public Facilities Authority (LPFA) Grant Awarded to GRFA!

New Orleans - George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts is proud to announce that we recently received a $50,000 grant from the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority (LPFA). The grant was awarded in coordination with the Louisiana Education Loan Authority (LELA), a division of LPFA. The entirety of the funds will go toward funding the scholarships that we award through our yearly Art Contest. In 2010, GRFA awarded over $35,000 in college scholarships and another $45,000 will be awarded in 2011.

According to LPFA officials, “We are honored to work with GRFA to help expand programs which emphasize the important role visual arts can play in the development of our youth throughout Louisiana.”

And, we would especially like to recognize LELA for being a continued partner of GRFA. LELA was instrumental in helping us to spread the word across the State of Louisiana about our Art Contest. With the help of LELA, we were able to let every school and guidance counselor in the Louisiana know about our scholarship program.

The Louisiana Public Facilities Authority is the premier conduit issuer of tax-exempt and taxable bonds in Louisiana. LPFA's primary mission is to further education, healthcare, economic development, and job creation in Louisiana and to make Louisiana a better place to work, live and raise our families. Since 1974, LPFA has issued over $20 billion in bonds to finance Louisiana's growth.

The Louisiana Education Loan Authority a division of the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority (LPFA), is a non-profit public trust established to bring financing assistance and advantages to the people of Louisiana.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

GRFA Visits A+ Schools in Oklahoma

On Monday, January, 25th the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts staff visited the headquarters of A+ Schools in Oklahoma City, OK. We attended a daylong workshop with our partner the THEA Foundation from Little Rock, AR.

Oklahoma A+ Schools®
is Oklahoma’s only research-based arts-integrated and whole school network with a mission of nurturing creativity in every learner. Located on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma, OK A+ provides schools with ongoing professional development, an intricate network of support, and an active research component conducted by university professors. Spanning the state and growing every year, this network of 65 schools represents every kind of school from early childhood through high school, in urban, suburban and rural Oklahoma.

As part of our visit, we even had the chance to see an actual A+ School in operation. We could easily see the excitement and motivation to learn in all of the students involved in arts-integrated learning at Russell Dougherty Elementary. Thank you to Principal Stafford for a great tour!

We want to thank everyone at A+ Schools and also the Kirkpatrick Foundation for sharing with the THEA Foundation and GRFA about how they operate a successful network of arts-integrated schools. We hope to one day use some of what we learned in the creation of a similar network of schools in Louisiana and Arkansas.

Lake Charles Exhibit Opens and a Sidewalk Chalk Event

On Friday, January 21st, the Lake Charles' Imperial Calcasieu Museum launched their exhibit of "Blue Dogs and Cajuns"

The exhibit is on view through March 4th and it features paintings from the collection of the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) , the Sage of the Acadians from the Gauthier Family collection, and more.

In honor of the opening, George Rodrigue held a book signing and mingled with those in attendance.

Then, on Saturday, January 22nd, we participated in a sidewalk chalk even with local aspiring student artist's from the Lake Charles area. Each child got to draw their own Blue Dog while they watched George Rodrigue create his own masterpiece out of chalk.

Thank you to everyone who attended both events. The NOMA collection is on a state-wide tour all this year. For more information about tour dates visit here.

Visit the photo gallery here for a complete list of the day's events!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Artist George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog Goes Digital: Blue Dog 123 iPad App Released

New Orleans, Louisiana --- The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA) is pleased to announce that the children’s educational app “You Can Count on Blue Dog: Blue Dog 123” is currently available as a FREE download for the iPad in Apple’s iTunes App Store .

This iPad app is a fun way for children to learn counting while enjoying the fabulous Blue Dog artwork of George Rodrigue. Each page displays a different piece of George's original art with countable objects. Through touch the objects can be counted in any order and children hear pronunciation plus see the number displayed. Randomly chosen numbers of objects in many pages makes this app more interesting to re-read and the beautiful art, combined with the story of Blue Dog's adventures, makes learning to count lots of fun!

The new app is the first app by internationally renowned Cajun artist, author, and creator of the Blue Dog series, George Rodrigue. The app was created in conjunction with the Louisiana Digital Gaming Initiative (LDGI) and the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE). LGDI introduced AIE to Rodrigue and then three students at AIE’s Canberra, Australia campus created and programmed the app in their free-time outside of their coursework.

According to George Rodrigue, “I have fun with the computer as an artistic and creative tool no different than a paintbrush or clay. At the same time, children seem drawn to my art, especially the notion that they don’t have to paint things the way they really are. After two successful children’s books, I’m excited about my first iPad app, a natural progression in today’s computer world. In addition, this falls right in line with the mission of the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts, supporting youth development through art in education. I could not have been more thrilled than when the Academy of Interactive Entertainment’s students chose this app as their class project. Like the app itself, its creation by students once again reinforces the goals of GRFA.”

We would especially like to thank the people that made this app possible. Dr. Christopher Erhardt from AIE helped us to get this project started. Lea Bartlett, Head of School for AIE"s Canberra Campus, oversaw the students work. And, most importantly, we want to recgonize the great work that the students did in their free time. Mitchell Standen programmed the app and the art was adopted for the application by Maria Zelenskaya and Erin Slater. It is very inspirational to see that these students were willing to donate their time in order to help us make this app.

Louisiana Digital Gaming Initiative (LDGI) is founded and operated by Jeff Pellegrin. LDGI is a non-profit trade association of businesses and professionals of the video and electronic game manufacturing industry of Louisiana. For more information visit http://www.ldgi.biz/

Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE)
Since its establishment in 1996, AIE has earned much recognition as Australia’s leading educator for the Computer Game Development and 3D Digital industries. AIE has grown significantly over the years and now has campuses in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. For more information visit http://www.aie.edu.au/

The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA)
is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which 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. For more information, please visit www.georgerodriguefoundation.org or call 504-324-9614.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

GRFA Now on Twitter

Show us that you support arts in education! It's easy. Just follow us and be kept up to date in all of the latest trends and our latest news. Then, share what you learn from us with all of your friends.


It will truly take a grass roots movement to influence schools and government to change their perceptions about art in education. Then, hopefully, we can reverse the trend of declining art budgets!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Congratulations to Ms. Taylor's Class from Houston, TX for being featured in our Student Art Gallery

To start the unit, students were introduced to the paintings of Blue Dog in several recognizable places (the White House, outer space, the swamp, a field) and some paintings of Blue Dog in entirely imaginary places (like a dream of Ancient Egypt, or one where he is a butterfly dog, or in a decorated background).

We even saw Blue Dog dressed up like people wearing a necktie; he was even dressed up as a clown! We then read George Rodrigue's own wonderful children's book Why Is Blue Dog Blue? which explains his thought process and the reasons he chooses to paint Blue Dog different colors. The book also introduces some colors the students never heard of before: salmon, mustard, cherry, avocado, chocolate, and apricot to name a few! 1st and 2nd grade used a tracer of Blue Dog.

The students selected the best placement on the paper for their dog, traced the outline, and then drew his face from observation. The environments and accessories were drawn free-hand with pencil and Sharpie first and then we did acolored pencil color study to practice our paint colors. The last step was adding color with acrylic paint. The students then wrote journals about their work in the style of George Rodrigue's book that explained their choice of place for Blue Dog and his color, too.

I love the imaginative and varied places and looks for Blue Dog the students came up with! They really captured the spirit of Blue Dog in these paintings. Visit our student art blog! www.sgpart.blogspot.com

View the entire gallery here!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011 Louisiana Rodrigue Museum Show Dates Announced

George Rodrigue tour of original paintings from the collection of the New Orleans Museum of Art:

“Blue Dogs and Cajuns”

Jan 21 – Mar 4, 2011

Imperial Calcasieu Museum
Lake Charles, LA
Opening reception: Jan 21

April 1 to April 23, 2011

Masur Museum
Monroe, LA
(including GRFA Art Contest Finalists)
Opening reception: April 1

July 24 – Sept 18, 2011

Louisiana State University Museum of Art
Located in the Shaw Center for the Arts
Baton Rouge, LA
Opening reception: July 24
(GRFA Art Contest Finalists to Governor’s Mansion)

Sept 23 to early November (exact closing date TBD)

Louisiana State Exhibit Museum (LSEM)
Shreveport, LA
Opening reception: Sept 23
(including GRFA Art Contest Finalists)