George Rodrigue's Festivals Acadiens, 1983 painting was hanging in a Capital One bank office on W. Vermillion Street in Lafayette for over a quarter century until their former Market President Janet Wood retired in 2012.
"Janet was retiring and we knew that the painting would do more good for our community than hanging in the bank here," said current Market President Mike Wack.
Wack got in touch with the Rodrigue's in late 2012 to start the process of auctioning off the painting to charity and find the paintings exact worth, which is about $75,000.
But the Rodrigue's had another idea.
"He said if you donate this painting back for our foundation I'll commission a blue dog that's worth much more than this painting and sell it and you can have every penny of that for educational purposes in Acadiana," said Wack.
That blue dog painting given to Capital One in exchange for the Festivals Acadiens sold for $72,000. Capital One then donated all the proceeds. Over $30,000 went towards non-profits in Southwest Louisiana and the rest went to the Rodrigue's foundation, which includes a nationwide tour of George's work.
"We like to get back as many of those paintings as we can to keep for our permanent collection to tour them around to museums and other shows around the country," said George Rodrigue's son, Jacques Rodrigue.
Jacques says Festival Acadiens is not just an important piece for their collection, but holds much sentimental value as well.
"We've got lots of prints of it and lots of copies of it, but to have the original is pretty great," said Jacques.
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