BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Rodrigue family invites the community to join them in mourning the passing of internationally renowned and beloved artist George Rodrigue. Rodrigue passed away on December 14, 2013 at Houston Methodist Hospital after a long battle with cancer. He was 69 years old.
A public mass will be held at 10:30 AM on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. The Archbishop of New Orleans Gregory Michael Aymond will be officiating. Visitation will immediately follow the mass and conclude at 2:30 p.m.
Burial and graveside service will take place the following day, Friday, December 20, 2013 at Holy Family Cemetery in New Iberia, Louisiana at 1:00 p.m. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be given to the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts, 747 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 or www.RodrigueFoundation.org.
The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts advocates for the use of the arts in the development of Louisiana's youth through arts-integration, scholarships, and professional development for educators through the Louisiana A+ Schools program.
Statement from the Rodrigue Family on Funeral Arrangements for George Rodrigue:
While we mourn the loss of our loving husband, father and friend, we have found great comfort in the extraordinary number of tributes and condolences from people all over the world who were touched by George and his unique artistic gift.
We invite all of George's extended family of friends and fans to join us in celebrating his rich life and legacy. George will remain a presence in the hearts of the people who got to know him and his work will continue to inspire for generations to come.
Statement from Gov. Bobby Jindal:
Supriya and I were saddened to learn of the passing this evening of a friend and one of Louisiana's favorite sons, George Rodrigue. His work as an artist is iconic and uniquely Louisiana. George's Blue Dog not only became symbolic of his work, but it became a symbol for Louisiana. This earned him the ability to paint the likes of world leaders including Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
His work made him an ambassador for our state and a renowned artist, but he never forgot his Louisiana roots. Indeed, there are countless stories and examples of his charity work to help the people of Louisiana. Without question, his paintings will live on, but his legacy will be much more than paint on a canvas.
Statement from Gov. Kathleen Blanco:
We are saddened to learn of the death of our dear friend George Rodrigue and we offer our deepest sympathies to his wife Wendy and his sons Jacques and Andre. Louisiana lost a magnificent artist who loved and chronicled the lives of our people. He gained national and international attention when he painted his now very famous Blue Dog. George Rodrigue was a personal and close friend of ours going back to the years when Raymond taught him at Catholic High School of New Iberia. George and his wife, Wendy, were instrumental in lending several pieces of his art for display at the Governor's Mansion. They also found other professional Louisiana artists who contributed to our mansion art while I was governor. His legacy is reflected in the inherent beauty and messages of his unique body of work. We will miss him dearly.
Statement from Senator Mary Landrieu:
In many Louisiana homes next to a fleur de lis, you'll find a George Rodrigue Blue Dog painting. It is a testament to his artistic ability to illustrate the character and spirit of the Cajun culture and Louisiana on canvas. While we will miss him dearly, his classic paintings will remain with us to serve as a reminder of our state's rich heritage and culture. That is a true and lasting legacy we can all be grateful for.
Statement from E. John Bullard, Director Emeritus, New Orleans Museum of Art:
With the death of George Rodrigue, our state and nation have lost one of its most unique, popular and memorable visual artists. For nearly fifty years he created an extraordinary body of work that captured the special qualities of Louisiana's Cajun culture, bringing national and international recognition to his heritage and to himself. In 1984 he first painted the loup-garou, the fairy tale Cajun werewolf, which quickly morphed into the Blue Dog. Now a universally recognized icon, seen in hundreds of paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints, Rodrigue's Pop creation will continue long into the future to bring inspiration and joy to an enormous, world-wide audience.
Statement from Rita Benson LeBlanc, Owner/Vice Chairman of the Board, New Orleans Saints:
George Rodrigue was a dear friend whose dedication to the cultural heritage of Louisiana and the arts will be felt for generations. He is everywhere from the statues along Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Metairie to the Governors' portraits in Baton Rouge. His art and posters after Katrina raised much-needed funds for relief and the Saints were proud to partner with him to raise funds for the New Orleans Museum of Art. He was recently honored by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, for his lifetime achievements and contributions to Southern culture, which he was unable to attend in person.
The Blue Dog's eyes and George's style of ancient oaks with their Spanish moss will always be a link to a big-hearted man who lived life fully and with humble generosity including many, many people in his happy journey. I will miss his laughter and joyous spirit. My prayers are with him and his family who will carry on his legacy.
Statement from Clancy DuBos, Publisher, The Gambit:
Originally published in BestOfNewOrleans.com, "Fond farewell: George Rodrigue" http://bit.ly/18tNJLu