FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2021
City of Opelousas Prepares for Ninth Art Wrapped Traffic Box Unveiling
(Opelousas, LA) – Opelousas, LA) – Another art wrapped traffic signal box is scheduled to be unveiled on Friday, June 25th at 10 a.m. in Opelousas. The newest box is located at the intersection of south Union Street (Hwy 182) and Heather Drive near Super One Foods. The latest box, which is part of the Boxed Art project which transforms ordinary traffic boxes into vibrant public art, was designed by Opelousas artist Michelle Fontenot.
With June 25th proclaimed as Clifton Chenier Day in resolutions recently passed by city, parish and state governments, the event will also include a salute to Chenier. The late King of Zydeco, who was born near Opelousas, would have been 96 years old this year. Plans are underway to celebrate this Grammy Hall of Famer’s centennial birthday in 2025.
Michelle Fontenot, who specializes in stained glass and mosaic art, has been an accomplished artist for many years. She began her career as a full-time artist and business owner following her training in ceramics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her activities include participating in various solo art shows throughout Louisiana and many other exhibits and collaborative art shows around the southern United States.
Though she specializes in stained glass art, Michelle is not limited to any form of creativity and often gains inspiration for her artistic pieces from her surroundings. Many of her creations have been on exhibit and have been displayed at local and out of state art galleries as well as festivals and events which include Sans Souci Gallery, Festival International, Acadiana Center for the Arts and ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival in Seaside, Florida. Michelle has worked with the city and Opelousas Main Street on several art projects including the Fiddle Mania public art exhibit. She has also lent her time and talents to community organizations such as Hope for Opelousas, where she worked with students to create their own mosaic pieces. Michelle currently resides in Opelousas with her husband, Geoff, and is the mother of three children and one grandson.
Initiated in 2021 by Opelousas Tourism and the Celebrate Opelousas 300 Committee, Boxed Art began as one of the 300-year celebration activities designed to showcase the community’s culture, enhance public spaces and highlight local artists.
Completed Boxed Art include traffic boxes located at the intersection of Vine and Landry Streets with featuring art by Jerome Ford, Court and Landry Streets featuring art by Sue Boagni, Union and Dunbar Streets featuring art by B.J. Smith, Railroad Avenue and Church Streets featuring art by Ke’Shawn Collins, Bellevue and Main Streets featuring art by Rebecca Henry, Vine and Market Streets featuring art by Gerri Soileau, Creswell Lane and I-49 Service Road, featuring art by Alicia Johnson and Bullard and Landry Streets (Hwy 190) featuring art by Theon Guillory.
The public will also be able to view the unveiling live via the Opelousas Travel facebook page. The project was made possible through grant funding from Union Pacific Foundation and support from the city. For more information about Boxed Art, email firstname.lastname@example.org