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Contact: Christine Payton NOV. 23, 2011
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
Artist George Rodrigue is the recipient of the 2011 James William Rivers Prize in Louisiana Studies. The Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette made the announcement recently.

Rodrigue’s paintings have captured the essence of South Louisiana unlike any other artist during the last half-century. Using oak trees as his central backdrop, Rodrigue first made a name for himself during the 1970s through his visual interpretations of many of the sacred rites of everyday life in South Louisiana ¬– fais do-dos, crawfish boils, bourré – as well as, for his painting of iconic Louisiana figures such as Evangeline, Jolie Blonde, Huey Long, and Paul Prudhomme.

Rodrigue then transformed himself as an artist during the 1980s via his Blue Dog paintings, of which he states ‘within Blue Dog is the history of the Cajun People and the history of myself.’

An award ceremony and reception in honor of Rodrigue will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 at the UL Lafayette Alumni Center, 600 E. St. Mary Blvd. in Lafayette.

The James William Rivers Prize in Louisiana Studies was established to honor persons who have contributed or rendered, recently or over the course of their careers, outstanding scholarly study, work, or teaching about the culture, history, art, architecture, crafts, flora, fauna, music, literature, law, performing arts or geography of Louisiana or about its people.

The Rivers Prize was established with private funds donated in memory of Mr. Rivers, a New Orleans architect and graduate of then-USL, who died in 1991.

Previous Rivers Prize winners are: A. Hays Town, Marcel Giraud, Saul Litvinoff, Joy J. Jackson, Barry J. Ancelet, Mary Louise Christovich, Ernest J. Gaines, Samuel Wilson, Jr., Glen Jeansonne, Elemore Morgan, Sr. and Elemore Morgan, Jr., Mathé Allain, Glenn R. Conrad, the Louisiana Public Broadcasting, Ellis Marsalis, Frank de Caro, James Lee Burke, Jay D. Edwards and the Fred B. Kniffen Cultural Resources Laboratory, Carl A. Brasseaux, and the La. Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information please contact James Wilson, chairperson of James William Rivers Prize selection committee, at 482-6027.

Document last revised Wednesday, November 23, 2011 1:08 PM

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