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Contact: Christine Payton Oct. 28, 2003
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
“There’s no limit to creativity.” That’s what Dr. Subrata Dasgupta believes after the studying the mind of world-renowned artist George Rodrigue.

Dasgupta, the director of the Institute of Cognitive Sciences at UL Lafayette, will discuss his study during a public lecture on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. in Fletcher Hall, room 134. “Pictures of an Artist’s Mind: Understanding George Rodrigue,” will delve into Rodrigue’s pattern of creativity.

“Every creative person develops a particular style of thinking,” said Dasgupta. “It’s this pattern that drives the person.”

So, what drives Rodrigue to his “Blue Dog” creations or his Cajun-culture paintings? For two years Dasgupta studied the artist, conducting interviews and examining his works to get to the answer.

“He certainly provokes a curiosity,” said Dasgupta. “I wanted to go beyond the visible and find out why does he do all those Blue Dog paintings. So, I examined in detail the nature of his creative life.”

The researcher said he will discuss the characteristics of Rodrigue’s cognitive style during his public lecture.

“I’ll discuss what he drew upon in college and also his deep roots in the Cajun culture and his social background,” explained Dasgupta. “I’ll talk about his influences like Pop Art.”

Rodrigue dreamed of painting as a career while attending classes at UL Lafayette in the 1960s. In 1977, “The Cajuns of George Rodrigue” became the first book published nationally on the Cajun culture. The artist and his paintings gained further attention when the book was chosen by the First Lady as the official White House gift during the Carter administration.

Rodrigue later received commissions to paint Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as Louisiana governors Huey Long, Earl Long and Edwin Edwards.

“He’s an artist with a very creative mind,” said Dasgupta. “I’ll discuss his symbology. He thinks in terms of certain symbols and various colors. Each artist thinks about certain things in certain ways. I’ll discuss the way Rodrigue see things.”

Dasgupta said his believes Rodrigue’s Blue Dog works emerged from paintings from the Cajun culture. “The Blue Dog represents Rodrigue as he sees the world,” he said.

He noted that he was on hand recently to introduce Rodrigue on stage for the International Child Art Foundation Festival. The artist joined children from 100 countries and all 50 states on the National Mall in Washington D.C. in September to create a mural for peace, combining their individual paintings into a giant three-dimensional pyramid form designed by Rodrigue.

“My image of the artist has profoundly been impacted through my study,” said Dasgupta. “I can sense his emotions when I look at his work.”

Dasgupta’s lecture is free and open to the public. It is being sponsored by the colleges of Arts, Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For more information about the lecture, contact Dasgupta at 482-1131.

Document last revised Friday, July 29, 2005 3:47 PM

Copyright 2003 by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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