Rodrigue Paints Original ‘Blue Dog’ for Dufrocq Students, Foundation Donates a Year’s Worth of Arts Supplies to the School
- February 24, 2011
Blue skies and blue dogs. That’s what The Dufrocq School pre-K students enjoyed today, February 24, during a special visit by renowned Louisiana "Blue Dog" artist George Rodrigue. The artist, his George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts and the local Forum 35 organization were on hand to donate a $2,000 Arts Closet Kit of arts supplies to the elementary school – enough to supply them for a whole year!
Rodrigue and his son, Jacques, did a live art demonstration with students that was facilitated by the Foundation’s art project. Jacques read from his father’s children’s book, "Why Is Blue Dog Blue?," to students while his father painted an original "Blue Dog" behind him. The large painting was done on a reflective silver canvas with Rodrigue occasionally asking students what color he should paint various aspects of the piece.
Afterwards, Rodrigue joined the students as they painted their own versions of the "Blue Dog" at cafeteria tables. At one point, he was joined by East Baton Rouge City-Parish Mayor-President Melvin "Kip" Holden, who grabbed a brush and began his own work of art. The students also enjoyed refreshments, including cupcakes airbrushed with the "Blue Dog" image.
The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts was created in 2009 to provide financial assistance in the arts and other areas. The Foundation also plans, develops and implements unique educational art programs specially designed to enhance and expand art curriculums. The Arts Closet Kit program was designed to provide art supplies to Louisiana art teachers and schools whose funding does not otherwise allow for an art program. The kits are custom-designed by educational professionals for both elementary and secondary levels.
"Through our experiences with the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts, we immediately noticed that most schools in Louisiana lack the basic funds and materials to incorporate art into their curriculum. Many teachers have little or no budget for art supplies," said George Rodrigue. "They are forced to purchase what they need personally or do without. With the launch of George’s Art Closet, we will help teachers overcome this obstacle and give them the tools they need to make each classroom an imaginative and innovative learning environment that incorporates the arts into all subjects."
"National research indicates the arts are more important than ever in helping students retain math and science lessons. The arts also help students learn problem solving and expand their creative thinking skills. Our own teachers have verified this in the classrooms of our public schools," said John Dilworth, superintendent of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. "That's why program's like Mr. Rodrigue's, along with community support from groups such as Forum 35, are so vital to our schools and students to help increase student achievement."
Forum 35 is a community of engaged young men and women dedicated to improving and shaping Baton Rouge. For more information about the foundation and its programs, log on to www.georgerodriguefoundation.org
Principal Brister in Washington, D.C., to Accept McKinley Middle School’s Second Blue Ribbon Award
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Principal Herman Brister (pictured, left) and the school’s Teacher of the Year, Lynn Williamson (right), were in Washington, D.C., accepting McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School’s National Blue Ribbon Award from U.S. Department of Education’s Director of National Blue Ribbon Schools Program Aba Kumi (center). The event, which recognized some 314 schools from across the United States, was held at the Omni Hotel. Click herefor story.
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