Some people have griped that New Iberia’s Christmas lights are too subdued this year, but the blue lights on Main Street are a quiet memorial to hometown artist George Rodrigue, whose blue dog paintings became internationally famous.

Rodrigue died a year ago.

It’s a temporary change from white lights lining trees, store windows and other decorations, Phyllis Mata, of the Blue Magic on Main committee, told The Daily Iberian.

“I think the decorations are what’s needed, as a one-time theme for one of our favorite citizens,” Mata said. “When the idea came up, I loved it, and still do. The idea of honoring George Rodrigue, I felt, was an important one — important to his family and to New Iberia.”

Jennifer Toups, of the Downtown Business Association, said some people have told her they want the brighter white lights back.

“It is a soft and gentle tribute, like him, like his paintings, a hauntingly mysterious and quiet tribute,” she said. “White is the norm. (Rodrigue) was not. Blue is so very him. They are both quietly beautiful.”

Son Jacques Rodrigue said, “Dad never forgot his New Iberia roots. He always said if he wasn’t from New Iberia he may never had started painting to begin with. The uniqueness of the culture and the landscape really inspired him to start to start painting.”