Armstrong Middle School in Rayne is now home to a self-portrait of George Rodrigue.
The school is one of 21 Louisiana A+ Schools and incorporates art in core subjects.
On Monday, students shared their work with Rodrigue’s widow Wendy.
“Using the art skills really helps us because you can incorporate everyday skills and be free and stuff,” said 7th grade student Leah Mcdowell.
Art is incorporated into each lesson and class at Armstrong Middle. Rodrigue was able to see first hand how her late husband is still inspiring students.
“There’s something so energizing about incorporating the arts into school programming,” said Rodrigue. “You really retain things, you remember them.”
This year, Armstrong became a Louisiana A+ school. Teachers went through special training so the school could get the honor. Lesson plans include dual-learning objectives and methods of assessment for both the arts and non-arts subjects. Principal Marshal Thibodeaux said his teachers are embracing the change.
“They’re grasping the mindset that integrating art in the curriculum is why we’re working here at Armstrong Middle School,” said Thibodeaux.
Rodrigue says students and teachers are excited to be at school and that makes a difference in the learning process.
“There are people who think I’m crazy for bringing original paintings around to schools,” said Rodrigue. “George would be the first person to go take them all! He would be buying a bigger truck, having me pull everything off of the walls and taking it. You know, anything to inspire the kids and surprise them.”