The George Rodrigue Life and Legacy Program is committed to sharing the life and art of George Rodrigue, and to educate as best we can on the evolution of his work, and the processes behind it. Each piece tells a story — a reaction to current events, a state of mind, the past, the present, the future, or love. Within each piece can be found common elements — the distinctive Rodrigue Oak, the Cajun people, their culture glowing from within, the Blue Dog, staring straight at the viewer, asking the questions, “Why are we here?” “What does it all mean?” There are swirls, flowers, suns, butterflies, and even hurricanes.
The George Rodrigue Life & Legacy Program inspires all ages with the life and art of George Rodrigue (1944-2013), expanding his vision by showing how one person can overcome obstacles to achieve their dreams, while also making a positive difference in the world —in this case, through the transformative potential of art. Projects include museum exhibitions, education initiatives, an ongoing public lecture series, and written and online publications.
Since founding the Life & Legacy Tour in 2017, Wendy Rodrigue has visited more than 70 schools and exposed, personally, Rodrigue’s life and art to more than 30,000 students and teachers throughout Louisiana, Oklahoma, Florida, and Mississippi. In addition, her lectures at museums, universities, and community groups, remain standing room only, as she shares personal stories and original paintings from her late husband’s private collection.
Painting depends on freedom. When you’re feeling completely free, you can create, and this power to create is, in turn, the greatest freedom of all.
The Life & Legacy Tour began (Fall 2017) because I felt compelled to help others experience George Rodrigue in a more personal way. Now, the tour is in demand more than ever, with no end in sight! And perhaps that’s exactly as it should be.
The Life and Legacy Tour continues in 2019, not only in Louisiana, but in other states as well, taking Wendy to colleges and universities, community groups, museums, and schools – sharing George’s story while using original paintings from his archives as a visual aid.
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.