Looking for Summer Shade

Update 7/20/2012:

Another hot summer, this one spent unexpectedly in Houston, Texas, finds us missing our annual cross country drive once again.  Unlike last year’s Louisiana exhibitions, however, this year we look forward to Blue Dogs in Texas, opening August 10th at the Amarillo Museum of Art, continuing until October 14, 2012.  Contact the museum for programming.


It is one hot summer, and for the first time in twenty years, George Rodrigue and I remain in Louisiana throughout the steamy months. 
(pictured, My Future’s So Bright, I’ve Got to Wear Shades, 1993, silkscreen edition of 100)
Most years we hit the road in our truck, driving west.  We used to say that our vacation starts the minute we cross the Texas border into New Mexico; but we’ve softened on that point, falling in love with the Lone Star State.  Fort Stockton is now a destination, and tradition insists that I drive the long stretch between Wichita Falls and Amarillo, so that George is free to photograph the grain silos and the cattle.
(See the Texas posts to the right of this story under “The Road”) 
This year we only dream about those drives, tied to Louisiana for a yearlong statewide traveling museum exhibition of George Rodrigue’s paintings, sponsored by the New Orleans Museum of Art.  This involves many events, including lectures, painting demonstrations, children’s workshops, receptions with the artist and more, with the next round beginning late July at the LSU Museum of Art in Baton Rouge. (See the bottom of this post for a schedule of events; for details from the recent painting demo in Alexandria, pictured below, visit here.  Click image to zoom).
I wrote a blog this week for Gambit, the New Orleans weekly paper, about the “Summer of Love,” about heartbreak and true love, revealing probably way too much of our personal lives, and yet blending easily into the universal.  

“After all,” wrote one reader, “who hasn’t felt this way before?” 

(read “Summer of Love” here, if you dare)
The experience of writing the story left me sentimental and romantic, both appropriate feelings for a ‘glowing’ southern gal (that’s right, the rumor is true; we don’t sweat), as I recall my New Orleans cousin, when she fainted on the dance floor in the middle of her August wedding reception,

“Ya’ll keep dancing,” sighed the bride, as she dropped to the ground, “it’s just the vapors.”

(Read about the Cajun Bride of Oak Alley, pictured above, here)
In New Orleans, people rarely complain about the heat.  We women don sundresses, and the men break out their seersucker.  We carry fans to parties, sweaters to heavily air-conditioned movies, and koozies just in case….
We also visit with family.  My sister, who lives in Tallahassee, Florida, runs a summer camp for her boys, constantly making plans for them over the hot months.  Last year they visited us in Carmel, California, where they painted and goofed off with Uncle George
This year they arrive tomorrow to attend the “Made in Louisiana” art camp sponsored by the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts.  Happily, George agreed to surprise the class with some one-on-one instruction periodically over the week.
(pictured, a photo from last week’s camp, “Oaks, Cajuns and Blue Dogs Galore!”)
Our nephews remain through the Fourth of July, my father’s birthday.  I just wrote about him too (story here), and well, it’s important that he enjoy his special day with his children and grandchildren.  So, my apologies ahead of time, but you may be stuck with a re-post of something —maybe Texas— next week. 
I’m not dropping off of the map, however, and I hope to see you on twitter, where I’ll break from art camp, museum labels, or the sunshine to post a photo from George’s easel, a brief update, or a simple ‘hello.’
(pictured, Looking for Summer Shade, 1973)
And George?  Oh he’ll hang out at the pool with us some.  But mostly he’s thinking about his art and upcoming shows.  Although unconfirmed, we have a fun one in the works for late 2012.  
Here’s a teaser… (be sure to click the photo to enlarge…)
Happy Summer!
The LSU Museum of Art Rodrigue events include:

7/21            Educator Workshop, Press Preview, Sponsorship Party (contact GRFA for details)

7/22            Members Only Opening (contact LSU MOA for membership information)

7/23            Public Opening, including children’s events, book signings, family painting demonstration with George Rodrigue (contact LSU MOA for reservations)

7/24            Painting demonstration and lecture with George Rodrigue in the Manship Theatre; space limited to 325; book signing following (contact LSU MOA for details)

8/4            Young Professionals Night, sponsored by GRFA and Forum 35; $10 admission

8/19            Musings of an Artist’s Wife (Ladies lunchtime lecture with Wendy Rodrigue, including a private museum tour); Hilton Hotel, $50 per person (Contact LSU MOA for reservations; space is limited).  Hope you’ll join me!  All proceeds benefit the arts in our state-

8/20            In the Kitchen with Chef Paul Prudhomme and George Rodrigue, followed by a book signing with both (Contact LSU MOA for details)

4 thoughts on “Looking for Summer Shade

  1. It's Wendi from West Texas…husband is from Fort Stockton. Great blog! So nice that your nephews are here for the art camp! We drove over from Lafayette for my oldest to attend. He had a great day and enjoyed meeting George. My son told me the history of Blue Dog and how old George is…the things they remember! I asked him, "well, did you tell Mr. Rodrigue that you were from Lafayette and your dad is from Fort Stockton? Mr. Rodrigue loves West Texas! And he is from New Iberia." He said, "No." I am rethinking the whole idea of bringing three kids to New Orleans by myself thing though… Thanks again for the great day! Have a wonderful summer!

  2. Jett. And we will have to get a picture of Jett and Mr. Rodrigue together! Thanks!

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