Updated: May 26
Sixth Art Wrapped Traffic Box in Opelousas Scheduled to be Unveiled on Wednesday
(Opelousas, LA) –A traffic signal box located at the intersection of Vine and Market Streets in downtown Opelousas is scheduled to be unveiled at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 9, 2020. The art wrapped box, which is part of the Boxed Art enhancement project, features the art of Gerry Soileau, who is known for her paintings that depict traditional Mardi Gras images.
Since a young age, Soileau has always had a passion for art. Her father, George Soileau, inspired her to dabble in the arts with his folk-art paintings. Through an arts program which was once offered through St. Landry Catholic Church, Soileau enhanced her knowledge in the arts by participating in watercolor classes.
As a young mother, Soileau attended college at LSUE hoping to earn a degree in education. One semester she took an educational art class for elementary teachers and that is when she had a change of heart about her career. Soileau dropped out of college to homeschool her children. She taught her children until they graduated high school and later returned to LSUE to pursue a degree in the arts. She further strengthened her skills in sketching and enrolled in an oil painting class. Soileau later resigned from college to care for her grandchildren and aging parents.
As her parents aged, she began painting the stories of her parent's childhood to preserve their family's history. With the help of her family members, she discovered an organization called Fine Art America, the world's largest art marketplace. In 2013, Soileau placed her art on the marketplace where she received 500,000 views. Over 200 pieces of her art has been featured by a variety of Fine Art Groups and two of her paintings have received special features, which is the front page of the Fine Art Groups.
Boxed Art project transforms metal traffic boxes into creative canvases. The project is one of the activities for the City’s 300-year celebration. Led by Opelousas Tourism, and organizational support from the Celebrate Opelousas 300 Commission, the goal of the Boxed Art project is to enliven community space while showcasing the talent of artists in our community. Along with the newest box at Vine and Market streets, five other traffic boxes have been wrapped with art and can be seen around Opelousas. Those locations include Wallior and Vine and Landry streets, Court and Landry streets, Dunbar and Hwy 182 – Union streets, Railroad and Church streets, and Bellevue and Main streets. Artists for those traffic boxes include Jerome Ford, Sue Boagni, B.J. Smith Ke’Shawn Collins, and Rebecca Henry. Funding for the project was made possible through a grant from Union Pacific Foundation. For more information about Boxed Art, email email@example.com