Sunday, June 27, 2010

More Respect - Signs ARE Art

Several months ago the Cincinnati Art Museum and ArtWorks approached me about a potential partnership in their summer project called 'The American Road'.  ArtWorks is a Cincinnati organization whose vision is to "be the leader in employing student and emerging artists to create art that enlivens the Greater Cincinnati community." The American Sign Museum has worked with them on other projects. Now they were getting ready to partner with the Cincinnati Art Museum on this American Road project, and wouldn't signs from the American Sign Museum enhance the experience?  In fact they were envisioning some of our larger signs lining the park entrance and winding road leading up to the Art Museum.

Unfortunately, when I explained the time, money, and labor that would be involved in transporting and safely installing the signs - for a temporary exhibit - the idea had to be shelved.  But that didn't mean we couldn't provide some smaller signs for the open area where the students would be working.  According to the ArtWorks website, the plan is to have ArtWorks artists:
creating a painted homage to the American tradition of road trips and traveling West. Working on site at the Cincinnati Art Museum, this team will transform the second floor ambulatory into famed highway Route 66 with a mural of vistas and landscapes of Western America and classic neon signs on loan from the American Sign Museum. Artists will be painting during open museum hours for visitors to observe as part of the Art Museum's See America series. 
Well, the signs are now in place, with their neon lighting up the hallowed halls of this revered institution. 

Soon the students will begin painting their mural. I look forward to watching and maybe even influencing their progress.  If you're in the area, I suggest you drop in and give them some encouragement.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Getting Some Respect

It's been a long time.  Too busy doing things to write about them.  But I'm working on it. For now, let's consider signs getting the respect they deserve.  I'm seeing it more and more. Allow me to share an example:
Recently I had the honor of conducting a workshop and joining in the fun at the centennial celebration of the the Bristol TN/VA slogan sign. It was a very big deal with local and state officials not only attending, but verbalizing their recognition of the value of old signs to a community. Granted, they're thinking in terms of signs that have already made their mark, rather than how this might relate to current sign codes, but it was heartening indeed.  The Bristol Sign Centennial included the mayors of the TN and VA versions of Bristol and state senators too.  It was really great to see them embracing the town's heritage through a great sign.