(Opelousas) -A community mural celebrating the city’s 300-year anniversary was unveiled Sunday, June 14, 2020 in conjunction with a time capsule opening event. The mural, titled “Tree of Life,” features icons and symbols representing the city’s culture and heritage intertwined with the roots and branches of an oak tree.
Local artist Jerome Ford designed the mural. Ford is a Visual & Talented art Instructor for the St. Landry Parish School Board. Born and raised in the lower 9th ward of New Orleans, Louisiana, Ford received his BFA in painting and drawing, with a minor in printmaking, from Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge in 2003. His work has been accepted to hang in many local and national juried exhibitions of which he has received many honors and awards.
In 2006, Ford moved to his wife’s hometown in Opelousas, Louisiana where he continues to teach and create works of art. Ford’s works suggest inspiration, intuition, and visual reference – accompanied with the culture and heritage of South Louisiana.
The design was printed on six individual 24” x 36” canvases and then brought back together to create one large piece of art. Through a series of pop-up painting activities, some 100 people from around the community worked on the commemorative mural along with Ford.
The project was organized by Opelousas Tourism and 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. Along with promoting and exposing people to the arts, the project is intended to strengthen civic pride and participation and serve as a preservation tool in sharing information about the city’s history.
This was the second mural that done which highlights the city’s 300 – year anniversary. In September of 2017, a mural painted by local artists was installed on the exterior of the Delta Grand Theatre.