The official Festivals Acadiens et Creoles Poster, which features the King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier, was recently unveiled at the Hilliard Art Museum.

The festival is an event organized to celebrate the music, food and culture of South Louisiana. The goal of the organizers of the festival is to celebrate the beautiful culture that the people of the South have by sharing it through music, food and especially art. Each year, a poster is commissioned for the festival.

One of the event organizers, Barry Ancelet, who has worked for the Festival Acadiens for 49 years, says that this festival has been a great way to see the people of Lafayette coming together to celebrate the culture. 

This year’s artwork was designed by local artist Jeromy Young, who previously studied visual arts with a concentration in painting at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The local artist says that the culture in Louisiana has influenced a lot of his work over the years, especially for this year’s poster. 

“The culture, the food, the musical aspect, as well as the landscape of Louisiana has influenced my work a lot,” Young said. 

In the artwork, you can see Clifton, the King of Zydeco, pictured with the accordion, and people dancing in the background. The painting shows the culture of the people in South Louisiana, where people are dancing and having a great time expressing themselves. 

Clifton is pictured in the center of the poster playing the accordion and singing. In the background, there are people coming together to dance under the oak tree that is painted, and the sun is peeking through and shining on them. 

Young mentioned that he wanted to show people coming together to enjoy themselves with the music and the culture, and that was another significant aspect of his painting.

“I wanted to incorporate lots of energy in the painting because of Clifton’s music and the energy that had drawn people to his music,” Young said.

Clifton is pictured, front and center, for everyone to see. The event organizers wanted to dedicate this year’s poster and festival to him, being that he had been a big part of the festival since the start. 

He played at the first concert for the festival on March 26, 1974, where he became a big part of who everyone wanted to see and hear at the festival. His music and his energy had drawn everyone to the festival, where they wanted to dance and enjoy his music. 

“We owe him an immense debt of gratitude not only for the amazing music,” Ancelet said, “but also for the social and moral legacy that he left us.”

As a local artist, Young went to UL Lafayette where he studied visual arts and concentrated in painting. Being an artist, Young and Ancelet mentioned that it is important that you be true to yourself in the world of art because each individual artist is unique. 

“Seek the truth and be true to yourself,” said Young and Ancelet.

Young spends most of his time working at his gallery at 912 Coolidge St., where he not only paints, but creates frames. He makes unique frames for pictures and other artwork in the area. Young also teaches classes to locals who want to learn how to paint, or improve their painting ability.

As an artist in Lafayette, being surrounded by the culture has inspired much of Young’s work and he has portrayed that in this year’s poster for the festival. 

Once a former art student at UL Lafayette, he says to be true to yourself and to make art that you are happy with because it can be an outlet for you as well as a way to express yourself. 

“When you’re more genuine, your art looks more natural if your talent’s able to come out in the right way,” Young said. “As an artist, it is important to be consistent and always make art as much as you can.”

The Festival Acadiens et Creoles has been around for many years and is an event that is free to the public and lasts three days in order to celebrate the food, music, dance and art that has been culturally influenced in the area.

The festival is to take place from Oct. 13, 2023, through Oct. 15, 2023. It will be held in Girard Park, where it has been hosted for the last couple of years.