By: Brittany Racca
"George Rodrigue Comes Home: Under Iberia's Live Oaks with George Rodrigue and his Blue Dog"
Bayou Teche Museum
131 East Main Street, New Iberia, LA 70560
Jan. 14-June 30, 2015
Wed-Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m
Works of the world-famous artist George Rodrigue are coming to New Iberia's Bayou Teche Museum Jan. 14-June 30, 2015 in an exhibit titled, "George Rodrigue Comes Home: Under Iberia's Live Oaks with George Rodrigue and his Blue Dog," in partnership with the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts.
"The way this exhibit is unlike previous ones is that some of the art has never been seen before, because they are from the private collections of local residents, as well as those of Randy Haynie, the Paul & Lulu Hilliard Art Museum in Lafayette, Gov. Kathleen Blanco and the George Rodrigue Foundation," said Marcia Patout director of the Bayou Teche Museum. "A lot of locals started calling and saying, 'Oh, we've got something he painted for us,' and 'He painted the oak trees in my yard'."
Rodrigue was born and raised in New Iberia and studied art at the University of Southwest Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. His most famous series, the "Blue Dog," is inspired by the French legend of the loup-garou (werewolf).
It's been nearly a year since Rodrigue passed away on Dec. 14, 2013 from a cancer related illness. His final resting place is the Holy Family Cemetery at 2807 Curtis Ln. in New Iberia.
The memorial exhibit honoring Rodrigue's life and work will be on display for three months at the Bayou Teche Museum starting on Jan. 14 during the museum's annual gala, "A Night at the Museum."
The art will include some never before seen works along with Rodrigue's classic Blue Dog paintings. The one constant will be the iconic Iberia Parish oak trees. Every painting will have at least one.
Iberia Parish also incorporated the artist's legacy into its holiday celebrations this Christmas. The campaign "Blue Magic on Main" started in November and will run through the end of December. The annual Downtown Business Association's Main Street parade on Dec. 13 in New Iberia will have a blue theme and the name "Blue Magic on Main Christmas Parade." But, that's not all. The usual Christmas lights lining the street will all be replaced with blue bulbs and shop windows will be decorated in blue 1930s art-deco style for "Window Wonderland."
The George Rodrigue exhibit was funded through the Community Foundation of Acadiana Iberia Parish Tourism Community Development Fund. The fund was established with dollars allocated for Iberia Parish from the British Petroleum Louisiana Tourism Recovery Fund, administered by the State of Louisiana Office of the Lt. Governor, Department of Culture, Tourism and Recreation. The exhibit also received a generous contribution from IberiaBank.
"We are very thankful to the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts, Community Foundation of Acadiana, British Petroleum, IberiaBank and the Bayou Teche Museum for bringing this unique exhibit to New Iberia," said Fran Thibodeaux, executive director of the Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Mr. Rodrigue's art began here and, as a community, we are honored to welcome his art back to the town where his incredible journey began."