Workers hang six original Blue Dog paintings in the atrium of Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. The George Rodrigue paintings measure 6 feet by 4 feet and are part of the new David B. Usher Reading Room. The room will be located above Café Bon Vie in the Memorial Hospital atrium and will open in early December. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Saturday, November 23, 2013 3:32 PM
Lake Charles Memorial Hospital will open its new David B. Usher Memorial Reading Room, featuring the paintings of George Rodrigue sometime in December. Three paintings are now being exhibited in the hospital’s main atrium.
“We have this program through our foundation called Arts for Healing that we work with hospitals across the country where my dad will paint a piece that will then be displayed in the hospital,” said Jacques Rodrigue, the artist’s son.
George Rodrigue paints his iconic “Blue Dog” image on a reflective surface for healing reasons.
“The idea with the reflective material is that patients in the hospital and the kids there can walk up to it and see their own reflection in it. It creates a dialogue between them and the paintings,” Jacques Rodrigue said. “It helps with the healing process.”
The paintings were funded by a number of donors. The paintings will be donated later to the hospital.
The reading room, dedicated to the memory of David B. Usher, one of the vice presidents of the hospital, will be on the second floor and is open to the atrium.
“It actually serves a couple of purposes,” said Leif Pederson, vice president of philanthropy at the hospital. “It’s using a space that was never thought about being used. Quite often a number of our patients have to wait a number of hours when having an operation, and this gives them an alternative to give them a place to go and relax and be comfortable.”
Hardcover books will be donated for the room, and visitors will have access to Wi-Fi.
The room is designed for ages 14 and up.
“We’re very happy that Lake Charles Memorial Hospital has been including art in their foundation,” Rodrigue said.
“Adding art to the hospital’s walls has been a part of their mission for many years, and we’re just so happy to be a part of its latest project.”
The exact date of the dedication has not been set, but it’s planned for next month.