FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 3, 2020
Third Opelousas Art Wrapped Traffic Signal Box Scheduled for Unveiling
(Opelousas, LA) –Opelousas Tourism, along with the Celebrate 300 Commission, is pleased to announce another traffic signal box is scheduled to be unveiled to the public on Thursday, August 6, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. at the intersection of Union and Dunbar Streets in Opelousas. The art wrapped traffic box features art by B.J. Smith.
B.J.’s story started back in 2005 when at the young age of 15, he sustained a severe traumatic brain injury in an all-terrain vehicle crash. His hopes and dreams of a future in football were quickly erased by two weeks in a coma, a five-month hospital stay, multiple brain surgeries, seizures, and a stroke. He also lost sixty percent of his vision. Relearning to walk, talk, dress, and feed himself were critical to his survival and healing.
After 14 years post-injury and with the support of his mom, B.J. found a path to freedom and possibility through art. A place, where he says, “Colors listen and respond to the energy of the environment.” He and his mom, Kim, also formed Brain Art Alliance, an organization whose mission is to promote brain injury awareness through the healing power of art.
B.J.’s art has been described as appearing topographical or geological with some elements resembling biological cell structure. B.J. loves the movement and emotion of applying paint to canvas and describes it as a “pouring of consciousness where colors dance and speak.” B.J. is a 2019 graduate of Partners in Policymaking, a national leadership training program for people with developmental disabilities.
The Boxed Art project transforms metal traffic boxes into creative canvases. The project is one of the activities for the City’s 300-year celebration, with support from the City of Opelousas. The goal of the Boxed Art project is to enliven community space while showcasing the talent of artists in our community.
A total of ten boxes are targeted for the project over the next two years. In January, the first traffic signal box wrap, which features art by Jerome Ford, was unveiled at the intersection of Wallior and Vine and Landry Streets and the second traffic box wrap, which features art by Sue Boagni, was unveiled at the corner of Court and Landry Streets in downtown Opelousas.
Funding for the project is made possible through a grant from Union Pacific Foundation which was secured by Opelousas Tourism. For more information about Boxed Art, email email@example.com