First look at New Iberia’s Rodrigue Exhibit

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The Bayou Teche Museum presents Rodrigue Come Home, Under Iberia’s Oak Trees, a 13 piece exhibit of world-renowned artists George Rodrigue.  News Ten was able to capture the first look at the museum’s display, which opens to the public January 15th.

The George Rodrigue Foundation, the Community Foundation of America and Iberia Bank worked with Museum Director Marci Patout, who for one year worked to turn the small museum space into a breathtaking memorial.

Unlike other retrospective Rodrigue exhibits, the Bayou Teche presents specific pieces chose to best represent Rodrigue’s home town on New Iberia.

“We definitely wanted to make sure we singled out the oak trees,” she said.

The oldest piece in the collection, 1969’s The Shadows in New Iberia. Patout explained, “George was the class of ’62 at Catholic High here, and that’s when he started painting professionally. He went to art school at UL of Lafayette and then art school in Los Angeles. This was (Shadows) is one of his first, the late ’60s are the earliest ones we have.”

The collection also features a 2004 portrait of former Governor Kathleen Blanco.

“Governor Blanco actually had a print of her portrait made so she could hang it where we took it down off the living room wall.”

Alice, You’re In Wonderland, Now, is the latest piece displayed on the Museum walls; painted in 2013, before Rodrigue’s death.  In total, six pieces are on loan from the foundation, while seven come from private collections.

While touring the museum, Patout pointed out her personal favorite; a stunning untitled piece, acrylic on canvas of a red oak.

“It’s so different. It’s not typical of him. Everybody’s so used to his blue dogs and his oak trees that to me this is something totally different and something he started experimenting with.”

The exhibit will be unveiled at a gala on January 14th.  Rodrigue’s son and foundation head Jacques, will be the guest of honor. The public will be able to view the collection for the first time on January 15th. The museum will charge its regular fee of four dollars for adults, three for senior citizens and children.

Patout said because of a recent theft of Rodrigue’s Wendy and Me from his gallery in New Orleans, security will be heightened at the priceless New Iberia exhibit.

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