May 2023

Rodrigue Steinway Piano

The surprising story behind George Rodrigue’s breathtaking 2012 artwork, hand-painted over four months on a 1913 Steinway & Sons piano, with restoration by Hall Piano Company. Filmed by @douglasmagnus at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 2023.

Life & Legacy hits the road to Florida, Alabama, and Texas!

February 2023: Sharing George Rodrigue during the month of love.

Bluewater Elementary School, Niceville, Florida. February 2023, during a tour of Okaloosa County schools sponsored and organized by the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation

“Portraits” dominated this tour, and it resonated more than we could have imagined. After an hour in discussion together, students often chose to stay after class and look closer at these magnificent personal expressions by George Rodrigue and Douglas Magnus. If one is open to it, art in any form can be powerful and transformative. We’re more excited than ever to continue and expand this dynamic programming!

Sending a huge thank you to the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation, which sponsored and organized the first ambitious week of 9 presentations in Okaloosa County schools. This partnership makes magic happen, and we’re full of gratitude!

The tour continued the following week in Decatur, Alabama, with 3 presentations in area schools, and an evening event at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center. With gratitude to the Carnegie Visual Arts Center, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and the River Clay Foundation for organizing and sponsoring these days of outreach.

Last, but not least, a stop in Midland, Texas, where Wendy shared the Life & Art of George Rodrigue with students at Greenwood Elementary. The Life & Legacy Tour inspires through the arts, but in truth the children are the real gift!

George and Wendy Rodrigue

George and Wendy Rodrigue were married from 1997 until his death in 2013. For nearly 30 years, Wendy’s life’s work has been to share Rodrigue’s Life and Art in as broad and quality a manner as possible. Together, the couple partnered on the development of all aspects of Rodrigue’s career and life, including his galleries, museum exhibitions, a dozen books published both nationally and internationally on his art, and extensive education outreach.

During 2022, Wendy brought her inspiring programming to 24 schools and 65 classes in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.  This unique art-and-storytelling experience included original Rodrigue paintings from her collection, as well as special guest artists, such as Katherine Klimitas and Wendy’s current husband, Douglas Magnus.  Tours in 2022 were made possible through partnerships with the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation, Baldwin County Public Schools, a generous sponsorship by Henry and Pat Shane of Kenner, Louisiana, the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education, and many private donors.

Much more to come, as the 2023 tour takes us to Louisiana, New Hampshire, and Illinois, in exciting museum and education partnerships sponsored by Avery Insurance, Telich Custom Homes, Morgan Stanley, and multiple private contributions. Thank you for your generous support of this programming, inspired by and honoring the life and art of George Rodrigue! Hope to see you on the road!

In 2017 Wendy Rodrigue established the Life & Legacy Tour, now a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation, continuing and expanding her late husband’s artistic and philanthropic vision while honoring one of America’s most illustrious artists, George Rodrigue.  As of February 2023, she has visited, personally, 135 schools and more than 600 classes in 8 states, engaging more than 50,000 students in this rare art experience. Through Life & Legacy, Wendy has facilitated numerous museum and community partnerships, including the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, the LSU Museum of Art, Associations of Broadcasters, Chambers of Commerce, Womens Leadership Conferences, Literary Clubs, Continuing Education, and many more.  

A gifted storyteller, Wendy Rodrigue shares with teachers from 70 Oklahoma arts-integrated schools
during the OKA+ Schools Teacher Conference at the University of Central Oklahoma in June 2021.
Enjoy this raw clip from her opening remarks.
Learn more in this blog post for “Musings of an Artist’s Wife”