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City of Opelousas asking residents to take part in 300th anniversary celebration

Posted at 9:25 PM, Nov 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-19 22:25:55-05

The City of Opelousas will celebrate its tricentennial in 2020 and the community is being asked to take part in the celebration.

Residents will be able to contribute to the creation of a new mural designed to celebrate the city's 300 year anniversary. Once complete, the collaborative mural, which is part of the Celebrate Opelousas 300 activities, will be digitally printed and used for the official 300 anniversary poster.

A grant was recently awarded in the amount of $2,695 to Opelousas Tourism by the Acadiana Center for the Arts through the Louisiana Division of the Arts. The grant will help fund the project. Along with promoting and exposing people to the arts, the project is intended to strengthen civic pride and participation and will serve as a preservation tool in sharing information about the city's history.

The lead artist for the project is Jerome Ford, who is an accomplished artist and an instructor for the St. Landry Parish School Board Talented & Visual Arts Program. Using notes and ideas from the Celebrate Opelousas 300 Commission and various community stakeholders, Ford has developed a design that he calls "Tree of Life." The design features icons and symbols associated with the city's culture and heritage intertwined with the roots and branches of an oak tree.

Artist Jerome Ford

The design has been printed on six individual 24" x 36" canvases, which will be used for a series of pop-up painting events scheduled throughout the community from now until the end December.

During the pop-up activities, community members will have the opportunity to paint the designs and take part in collaboration efforts for the mural. Once the mural is complete, the panels will be brought together to create a finished commemorative art piece, which will be unveiled at a special ceremony at City Hall being planned for early next year.

Melissa Arclise works on the community mural at Louisiana Family Fitness

The project is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, administered by the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

For more information about Celebrate Opelousas, visit or email