Dr. and Mrs. Fred Gregg have donated an original George Rodrigue “Blue Dog” painting to be hung in the new Children’s Hospital Outpatient Center at Erlanger when it opens later this year.
Both Dr. and Mrs. Gregg have been actively involved in local healthcare for many years. Dr. Gregg is a local pediatric ophthalmologist. Mrs. Gregg began her career as a nurse in Erlanger’s Emergency Department, and retired as the CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee in 2012.
“We believe in the healing power of art and are hopeful “Blue Dog” will brighten many children’s day and contribute to a speedy less stressful recovery,” said Mrs. Gregg.
“Blue Dog” is a series of artworks for which the late Mr. Rodrigue is best known. The donated piece, among the largest created by the Louisiana painter, features two blue dogs and a floating orb. The painting, valued at $165,000, will serve as a signature piece in the development of the art program for the new children’s outpatient center. The art program, similar to the one at Erlanger East Hospital, will feature unique art donated to the hospital. The healing power of art is a strong theme throughout the Erlanger Health System, said officials.
“The bright and fun nature of the ‘Blue Dog’ artwork is a great addition to the new Children’s Hospital Outpatient Center,” said Don Mueller, CEO of Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. “At our new hospital, we hope to remove the stigmas and clinical look of a healthcare setting, and to make the experience more appealing and enjoyable for children.”
Mr. Rodrigue was best known for his “Blue Dog” series, which he started painting in 1990 to focus on the culture of his beloved Louisiana Cajun heritage. Mr. Rodrigue’s work depicts the land, people, traditions and mythology of his culture, with the intent of preserving Cajun country life and keeping it from being lost in the progressive world.
“This generous donation from the Greggs is the premier art piece for the new Children’s Hospital Arts Program which will encompass a large scope of artwork including several art pieces from the local community,” said Mary Rustic, director of Major and Planned Giving for Erlanger Health System Foundations. “We want to express our appreciation to those like the Gregg family for this contribution to our Believe campaign and to the art collection for the new hospital.”
The new Children’s Hospital Outpatient Center on E. Third Street is currently under construction and expected to be completed the end of 2018.