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BOBBY ARDOIN Editor/Consulting Writer

A one block section surrounding the St. Landry Parish Courthouse Square became, for several hours, a haven of youthful parish-wide artistic display.

For those walking or observing the gauntlet of textiles, crafts, music, paintings, sketches, woodcraft, metallurgy and written creativity displayed by public school students from kindergarten to 12th grade, there were opportunities to make purchases or just admire the skillfulness of a developing and potentially talented generation.

“This event that we have every year gives our kids a chance to showcase their talents in all the arts. Out here we have provided a chance for the public to see what our students can do in a variety of different areas, including our robotics program,” said St. Landry School Superintendent Milton Batiste III.

Labeled as the annual St. Landry Parish Students Art Expo, those walking through a cool late morning breeze past the half block of exhibits, had chances to buy many of the items at nominal cost from the students that created them.

“We have an ongoing partnership with the Acadiana Center For The Arts to stage this event, while we have other sponsors that include the City of Opelousas, Opelousas Main Street, Opelousas Downtown Development, and Parish government to put this on every year,” Batiste noted.

Batiste was also an active purchaser, eventually selecting a metal, four-burner outdoor gas grill that was a featured item designed by students from the St. Landry Accelerated Training School.

“This is exactly what I want. Now I can cook everything that I want at the same time,” Batiste said after deciding to buy the item.

The Courthouse grounds was the appropriate venue available to witness students’ musical productions.

Several schools used the courthouse steps as a staging area for vocal arrangements, while a temporary band stage under the live oak trees on the parking lot was built to feature a series of concerts.

The Eunice High band ended their performance shortly after noon with school band director Lamont Goodman conducting.

Band students from the Magnet Academy of The Cultural Arts followed, with the Opelousas Junior High students following.

Clothing items and accessories such as crocheted knitted caps, wrist bracelets and jewelry were available for sale, while customers reviewed potential items such as paintings and sketches done in pen and ink.

The Courthouse grounds also included a chance to sample the drawn and written word.

Students from Opelousas High displayed stunning ink drawings of rural scenes, while there were ample examples of deeply personal free verse poetry written by 11th and 12-graders from MACA.

Ecole St. Landry artists in kindergarten and first grade showed their talent with original paintings strung for those walking the Courthouse sidewalks.  
View the full photo gallery by Freddie Herpin on St. Landry Now.