Updated: May 26
(Opelousas, LA) – A traffic signal box featuring art by Gerry Soileau was unveiled this week in Opelousas. Part of the Boxed Art project which transforms traffic signal boxes into creative canvases, the box was unveiled on Wednesday, December 9th at the corner of Vine and Market streets. The traffic box, which is the sixth box to be unveiled, features a Mardi Gras theme. The project is one of the activities for the City's 300-year celebration.
Since a young age, Gerry 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 that 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 returned to school later attending LSUE pursuing a degree in the arts. A short time later, however, she resigned from college to care for her grandchildren and aging parents.
As her parents aged, she began painting her parent’ childhood stories to preserve their family's history. With her family members' help, she discovered an organization called Fine Art America, a worldwide art marketplace. A variety of Fine Art Groups has featured over 200 pieces of her art, and two of her paintings have received special features, which is the front page of the Fine Art Groups.
Led by Opelousas Tourism and the Celebrate Opelousas 300 Commission, with support from the City of Opelousas, one of the Boxed Art project's goals is to revitalize community space and showcase the talent of artists in our area.
Five art wrapped traffic boxes have already been completed and unveiled. 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 includes 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