News Release

Traffic Signal Boxes Transformed into Public Art
Posted: 9/25/2017 9:00 AM
 
 Project Unveiling on Friday September 29 at 10:30 a.m.
 
As part of Project Front Yard’s beautification efforts and in support of the community vision identified in PlanLafayette, local traffic boxes display the work of local artists and pay homage to Lafayette’s music scene.
 
On Friday September 29 at 10:30 a.m., two new “ArtBoxes” will be unveiled by Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG), Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission (LCVC) and Acadiana Center for the Arts (AcA). Through a partnership with LCG, LCVC and AcA, the ArtBox project was first unveiled in February 2015 to make over traffic signal boxes with the aid of local artists’ works.
 
The pilot project was funded by LCVC and included 12 boxes and the installment and unveiling of these last two boxes complete the initial project. AcA serves to procure the art and commission the artists. AcA also developed the “wrapping” process for the ArtBoxes for fade- and graffiti-resistant pieces to last for decades. The ArtBox project was initially launched in conjunction with LCG’s Project Front Yard campaign to improve the face of the community, including revitalization of gateways and streetscapes, litter removal and prevention, public art and river cleanup. Each ArtBox is vetted and approved for the most appropriate location based on the artists’ subject.
 
The newest boxes, known as the Zydeco boxes, are the work of artist Dennis Paul Williams and are located at the corner of Willow and Evangeline Thruway. The boxes depict iconic Zydeco performer Nathan Williams with his accordion and his brother, Zydeco dancehall owner Sid Williams in front of his legendary club El Sido’s. Not coincidentally, the artist and box creator, Dennis Paul Williams, is brother to Nathan and Sid, and is the guitarist in Nathan’s band the Zydeco Cha-Cha’s.
 
“We are proud to have been a partner on this project since its inception,” said Ben Berthelot, LCVC President & CEO. “Turning traffic signal boxes into attractive displays is a great way to tell visitors and locals alike that we are a proud and creative community. Each box reveals something about who we are.”
 
Dr. Gerd Wuestemann, Executive Director of AcA states, “These boxes are an expression of Lafayette’s deep cultural roots, artistic spirit and dedication to creating a more beautiful community. The project promotes a strong sense of community identity, while supporting local artists and the continuation of public art displays.”
 
The ArtBox project also complements Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux’s cultural economy initiative known as CREATE, which was launched in March of this year. According to Robideaux, “The ArtBoxes are a great way to feature local artists in a very public way. The project also enhances the cultural economy by providing some high profile exposure to the commissioned artists’ works while perpetuating the creation of public art. It’s really a win-win.” 

This unveiling kicks off a public “Adopt an ArtBox” campaign, administered by AcA, which allows individuals, businesses and neighborhoods to fund the creation of a specific box. For more information contact AcA at 337-233-7060, visit AcadianaCenterfortheArts.org or email Nicole@AcadianaCenterfortheArts.org.