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Thursday, October 30, 2014

GRFA Brings Arts Education to California

Carmel is a unique seaside community in California where cottages and galleries line the streets. It was here in 1991 that George Rodrigue decided to establish a gallery in addition to his Louisiana locations, and the Rodrigue Studio has had a home there ever since. (Read more about the history of the Carmel gallery here.)

To honor George Rodrigue's connection to the Carmel community, the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts was recently in the area to provide arts education outreach and gallery field trips to local schools, as well as a family art making event for the public.

As director of Turnaround Arts: Louisiana, an arts integration initiative of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, GRFA had the opportunity to visit Mary Chapa Literacy and Technology Academy, a Turnaround Arts: California school in Greenfield, CA. Fifth grade students at Mary Chapa attended a special presentation by Jacques Rodrigue, George's son, about the landscape, Cajun, and Blue Dog paintings of his father's career. They were then invited to create their own Blue Dog paintings using their imagination and a guided drawing activity. We are so grateful to the educators and students of Mary Chapa for welcoming us to their school and sharing their creativity!

GRFA staff and Executive Director Jacques Rodrigue get creative with fifth grade students at Mary Chapa Literacy and Technology Academy in Greenfield, CA.

The following afternoon, GRFA hosted "Blue Dog" in the Park Family Day in the green space adjacent to the Rodrigue Studio. Families from near and far were invited to create their own Blue Dog masks or ornaments, have their faces painted with Halloween characters, and take a tour of the original George Rodrigue paintings in the gallery.

There were art activities for the whole family at "Blue Dog" in the Park Family Day.

On Monday, fifth grade students from Mary Chapa Academy and fourth grade students from Carmel River School visited Rodrigue Studio for a special tour led by Jacques Rodrigue and participated in art making activities that explored chemistry, color theory, and nature. Students sculpted the life cycle of a butterfly and made their own "gak" material.

Students from Mary Chapa Academy and Carmel River School visit Rodrigue Studio and use the arts to learn about nature and science.

Advocating for youth development through the arts is at the heart of all we do, and we had a wonderful time in Carmel engaging students and the community through art! Thank you to everyone in Carmel who helped make our visit a memorable one and our events a success.

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