Home : Blog

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

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Louisiana A+ Schools Board of Directors has First Meeting in Shreveport





In 2017, after three successful years of implementation, Louisiana A+ Schools has become its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. While still supported by the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts, LAA+ has created a statewide Board of Directors to provide leadership as they move forward with their mission and vision.


(From left to right, standing) Hollis Milton, Board Member and Superintendent of West Feliciana Parish Schools; Wayne Fernandez, Strategy Consultant for GRFA; Patrick Widhalm, Board Member and Head of School at Benjamin Franklin High School; Jacques Rodrigue, Board Chairman and GRFA Executive Director; Bethany France, Director of LAA+ Schools; Henry Price, Board Member and President of Shreveport Regional Arts Council; Christine Dunaway, Development Associate for GRFA; Judge Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Board Member and President of Lake Charles Charter Academy Foundation.

(From left to right, seated) Rachel Locke, Professional Development Coordinator for LAA+ Schools; Dr. Sonia Fields Gutierrez, Board Member and Chief Academic Officer for St. Helena Arts & Technology Academy; Mary Harris, Board Member and Principal of South Highlands Magnet Elementary.





The newly formed Board of Directors met for the first time last week in Shreveport, Louisiana, at LAA+ Lab School South Highlands Magnet Elementary. They had a special tour of this outstanding LAA+ School and observed arts integration lesson plans in action.


LAA+ Board of Directors visits classrooms at South Highlands Magnet Elementary to see how the arts are infused into every subject.





Monday, October 30, 2017

Louisiana Educators: Apply Now to Join LAA+ Schools




The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts began the Louisiana A+ Schools program in 2013 with the goal of empowering teachers to infuse the arts into every subject. Now its own public non-profit, LAA+ operates in 18 schools across the state is supported by GRFA through fundraising initiatives like the Aioli Dinner Supper Club.

Each year, LAA+ welcomes Louisiana schools to apply to join their diverse network by submitting a Letter of Interest.

WHY APPLY?
LAA+ is the first whole school arts-integrated reform initiative of its kind to enter Louisiana. The LAA+ network provides teachers with the essentials to think more creatively about how students can apply learning to the real world, and how they can present curricula to students in ways they learn best.




"After five years, Louisiana A+ Schools has proven itself as a leader in transforming schools through our professional development training in arts integration. We are excited to welcome new schools into our growing network."
- Jacques Rodrigue, LAA+ Schools Chairman of the Board and GRFA Executive Director


Any Louisiana school (public, private, charter, urban, suburban, rural, PreK through 12) can now begin the application process to be a member of the LAA+ Schools network by visiting www.aplusla.org and completing the LETTER OF INTEREST form.


"We are thrilled to begin work with a new cadre of schools across the state. The schools in our network have seen growth in academic success and in student engagement."
- Bethany France, Director of LAA+ Schools


About A+ Schools
Started in North Carolina in 1995, A+ Schools is a research-based whole school network with a mission of nurturing creativity in every learner through an arts-integrated school network. Arts integration is achieved through continuous practitioner-led professional development, statewide support networks for teachers and administrators, and school partnerships with parents, community cultural resources, media and universities. There are currently over 150 A+ Schools across the country in North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.


The deadline to submit a Letter of Interest is December 1, 2017.





Thursday, October 19, 2017

See Photos from Shreveport Aioli Dinner





The Aioli Dinner Supper Club would like to thank our Shreveport friends for making the October 7th Aioli Dinner such a memorable night supporting our Louisiana A+ Schools program.

We would like to especially thank the Frierson family for opening their beautiful home to the Aioli Dinner Supper Club for second time. 


Click here to view a photo album from the event.



All photos by Hunter Sloan, a scholarship winner in our 2010 Art Contest. 

Aioli Dinner guests enjoyed a four-course menu by Southern Fork Catering and a special "Aioli Dinner Brew" by Red River Brewing Company. The meals served at Aioli Dinner Supper Club events are inspired by the rustic cuisine of the historic Creole Gourmet Societies of Southern Louisiana.

With the expansion of the Louisiana A+ Schools program to 18 schools, the Aioli Dinner Supper Club is playing a crucial role in the number of teachers and students impacted by arts integration in the classroom.



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Photos from New Orleans Aioli Dinner




The Aioli Dinner Supper Club would like to thank our New Orleans friends for making the October 5th Aioli Dinner such a memorable night supporting our Louisiana A+ Schools program.

We would like to especially thank Alexa Pulitzer and Seth Levine for opening their beautiful home to the Aioli Dinner Supper Club. And we extend a special thank you to co-hosts Christa and Matt Schwartz.


Click here to view a photo album from the event.




Aioli Dinner guests enjoyed a four-course menu by Chef Justin Devillier and wine pairings by Moet Hennessy. The meals served at Aioli Dinner Supper Club events are inspired by the rustic cuisine of the historic Creole Gourmet Societies of Southern Louisiana.

With the expansion of the Louisiana A+ Schools program to 18 schools, the Aioli Dinner Supper Club is playing a crucial role in the number of teachers and students impacted by arts integration in the classroom.

If you weren't able to attend this sold out event, please SAVE THE DATE for our next Aioli Dinner Supper Club event in New Orleans on April 19, 2018! Click the photo below to learn more.






Friday, September 22, 2017

Aioli Dinner is SOLD OUT


New Orleans Aioli Dinner is SOLD OUT





October 5, 2017
New Orleans
6:00 - 9:00 PM
at the Home of Alexa Pulitzer & Seth Levine

This event is officially SOLD OUT!
Thank you to our Hosts and Sponsors for helping to make this event a success.


Weren't able to get a seat for the dinner?

Don't miss our upcoming Spring 2018 New Orleans Aioli Dinner at the home of Lisa & Rick Farrell on St. Charles Avenue.








Few Seats Left for Shreveport Aioli Dinner!



October 7, 2017
Shreveport
6:00 - 9:00 PM
Frierson Plantation

This unique dining experience features:

Cuisine by Southern Fork Catering

"Aioli Dinner Brew" 
by Red River Brewing Company

Afterparty with whiskey tasting and cigars









Thursday, September 14, 2017

Call of Entries - 2018 Art Contest!





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.

This year, in partnership with the Louisiana Folklore Society, 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 local and regional folklore like George Rodrigue did; however, we also welcome them to create their own unique monster, myth, or legend through their art.




DEADLINE TO ENTER 
JANUARY 19, 2018



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Relief Print: PRE-ORDER NOW




George Rodrigue Family and Foundation Release Historic Blue Dog Print for Hurricane Harvey Relief

Proceeds from George Rodrigue's We Will Rise Again benefit affected schools in Texas and Louisiana

The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA) and the Rodrigue family announce a re-release of George Rodrigue's historic post-Katrina print We Will Rise Again (2005) to benefit schools throughout Texas and Louisiana impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

George Rodrigue raised millions of dollars for humanitarian and arts organizations following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The original print of We Will Rise Again raised $700,000, much of it generated by Texans, many of whom also helped displaced Louisiana families.

This special release includes the reference "Hurricane Harvey 2017" in the white border alongside the words "We Will Rise Again" and Rodrigue's official estate-stamped signature.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Prints sell for $500 each, a price set by Rodrigue for the original 2005 post-Katrina edition, long sold out. Rather than limit the new prints by number, GRFA limits them by time, with hopes of raising much-needed funds as quickly as possible for hurricane and flood impacted schools in Texas and Louisiana.



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* 



*Prints will ship in approximately four (4) weeks. Please add $30 for shipping and handling.





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




Monday, August 28, 2017

Don't Miss Our October Aioli Dinners!





The Aioli Dinner Supper Club invites you to celebrate the arts in education at one of two upcoming events. Each will feature a unique four-course wine dinner, live auctions, and more!

These culinary experiences are inspired by George Rodrigue's iconic "Aioli Dinner" painting and support the arts in education initiatives of the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts.




October 5, 2017
New Orleans
6:00 - 9:00 PM
at the Home of 
Alexa Pulitzer & Seth Levine


Top Sponsors



Friends of George Rodrigue Sponsor
Prometheus Charitable Trust
Blaine Adams & Patrick Falcon


Host Committee
Alexa Pulitzer & Seth Levine
Christa & Matt Schwartz
Roger Ogden & Ken Barnes
Jane Scott & Philip Hodges
Christine M. Vinson & Jason Bargas


Cuisine by
Chef Justin Devillier


Winner of James Beard Award: Best Chef South 2016
Owner of La Petite Grocery and Balise Restaurants

View Menu and Purchase Tickets






October 7, 2017
Shreveport
6:00 - 9:00 PM
Frierson Plantation


Sponsors





Cuisine by 
Southern Fork Catering




Special "Aioli Dinner Brew" by
Red River Brewing Company



Afterparty with whiskey tasting & cigars


View Menu and Purchase Tickets






Monday, August 7, 2017

Photos from White Linen Night



Artist Calya Zeek with her exhibition at White Linen Night.


Thank you to everyone who braved the weather on Saturday evening to join us on White Linen Night! If you didn't make it to the Rodrigue Foundation that night, you can still see Cayla Zeek: Ever-Changing Sentiment through September 15, 2017.



White Linen Night visitors created their own fans inspired by George Rodrigue's Blue Dog series. 



Also featured at White Linen Night were the latest Rodrigue-inspired paintings from Brushes, Buddies and Beyond, a painting program of the East Jefferson YMCA for young individuals with special needs.



Thursday, July 27, 2017

New Exhibition Opens White Linen Night




The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts is pleased to present Cayla Zeek: Ever-changing Sentiment, a special solo exhibition featuring a finalist from our 2010 Scholarship Art Contest. Since then, Zeek has embarked on a career as a professional artist and illustrator. This exhibition of original paintings and mixed media works explores the themes of grief, transformation, liberation, and self-acceptance.


On view at 747 Magazine Street: 
August 5 - September 15, 2017






Get Creative with Us at White Linen Night!


Once again for White Linen Night, GRFA will have a fan-making area for creative visitors of all ages! Grab some glitter and markers and create your own work of art inspired by George Rodrigue.






 



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Photos from PaintFest 2017


Thank you to everyone who attended PaintFest on Saturday! We had an amazing turn out of artists who helped us create two murals for Tulane Lakeside Hospital for Women & Children. Many participants created their own original works of art to take home, and we loved seeing their creativity.




A tremendous thank you to Tulane Health System's Arts in Medicine program for partnering with GRFA for this special event. We are thrilled to share in their mission of recognizing the integral role arts play in healing the spirit and transforming the hospital experience.

Julie Connelly, coordinator of the Arts in Medicine program, said of the event, "PaintFest this year was absolutely wonderful! We had a great turn out from the community, and the patients that were able to participate had a blast."






Friday, July 14, 2017

Join us for PaintFest 2017!




Saturday, July 22
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Tulane Lakeside Hospital for Women and Children
Cafeteria
4700 S I-10 Service Road W, Metairie, LA 70001


In partnership with Tulane Health System's Arts in Medicine program, GRFA is pleased to present PaintFest 2017!

PaintFest is a fun, FREE event for the entire family with creative painting opportunities for all. Arts in Medicine welcomes the general public to join patients and their families for a morning of artistic fun.

  • Enjoy painting a pre-designed Blue Dog mural which will be displayed in the hospital
  • Create your own work of art on a blank canvas
  • Enter a raffle to win a set of books about artist George Rodrigue
  • And more!






Tulane Health System recognizes the integral role of arts in healing the spirit and transforming the hospital experience. Because of this, the Arts in Medicine program was started in May 2010 to provide arts-related workshops, activities and performances for patients, their caregivers, and staff.

AIM recognizes the integral role of the arts in healing the spirit and transforming the treatment experience. A creative outlet helps to reduce stress, anxiety, boredom and the perception of pain.


Did you know?


GRFA appreciates the role of arts in healing as artist George Rodrigue found his love for making art while bedridden with Polio as a young child. It was during this time that Rodrigue first picked up a paintbrush and explored his creative side. From his experience, he knew the importance art can have in a child's life and founded GRFA in 2009 on this very notion.





Friday, July 7, 2017

New Orleans Aioli Dinner Announced





The Aioli Dinner Supper Club invites you to celebrate the arts with a unique four-course wine dinner at the fabulous New Orleans home of Alexa Pulitzer & Seth Levine on October 5, 2017!

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.




October 5, 2017
6:00 - 9:00 PM
at the Home of Alexa Pulitzer & Seth Levine
New Orleans, LA


Co-hosted by 
Alexa Pulitzer & Seth Levine
and
Christa & Matt Schwartz


Cuisine by
Chef Justin Devillier



Winner of James Beard Award: Best Chef South 2016
Owner of La Petite Grocery and Balise Restaurants