BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi students got to experience a well known icon in southern art up close and personal in the classroom.
The story behind the famous Blue Dog was told by someone deeply connected to the artwork.
When Popp’s Ferry Elementary’s art teacher Brandi Hoxie heard that a new exhibit at the Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art would feature the famous Blue Dog by George Rodrigue, she couldn’t believe it.
“Last year I just decided on a whim to let every kid in the whole school draw their own blue dog and paint and they had a really great time. They loved this lesson,” said Hoxie.
She knew she wanted to invite Rodrigue's widow, Wendy, to come speak to the class. Wendy accepted the invite and made the visit extra special because of her love of the arts, education, and keeping her late husband's legacy alive.
"You can learn every single subject in some form through the arts. George was a big one to say that everything in the classroom, everything in our lives, was at one time or another touched by an artist. So I thought the best thing I could do was share George Rodrigue with students," said Wendy.
She did more than just tell George's story. She decided to bring pieces of his life into the classroom for the students to see in person. It was her way of doing what she says George would have wanted her to do in continuing the classroom visits he used to make himself.
This decision to continue his work in education helped her cope after he passed away.
“How could I reinvent that without the star of the show? So, I decided to bring original paintings like this one from our home,” said Wendy.
The Blue Dog exhibit will be open at the Ohr O’Keefe Museum through October sixth.