Join legendary sign-painter Doc Guthrie and artist Michael C. McMillen as they remember a time of when commercial signs were hand-painted and the city was like a large canvas. For more than twenty years, Doc Guthrie has taught sign painting at Los Angeles Trade Tech College (LATTC). Michael McMillen enrolled in Guthrie’s class in 2000 and has since mastered hand lettering in his fine art practice. Guthrie and McMillen, longtime Angelenos, have a witnessed the changes in our urban landscape, as hand-painting gave way to digital design and printing. Moderator Tucker Neel will facilitate a discussion between Guthrie and McMillen about history and practice of sign painting—and its remarkable resurgence in the present.
Ralph “Doc” Guthrie is an instructor in the Sign Graphics program at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATTC). The Sign Graphics class is a two-year program that focuses on traditional hand lettering and sign painting. The class has been taught since 1924. Doc graduated from the program in 1974 and has been a sign painter in Los Angeles for over forty years. He has just completed his twenty-fourth year as an instructor at Trade-Tech.
Michael C. McMillen is a sculptor, installation artist, and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. His work is in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, among many others. McMillen received is MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles and was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2015.
Tucker Neel is an artist, writer, curator, and educator. He has exhibited work in traditional fine art venues like Samuel Freeman gallery and The MAK Center for Art & Architecture, and has executed commissioned and unsanctioned projects for numerous public sites, domestically and internationally. His crowd-sourced, curatorial works seek to expand the boundaries of when, how, and where audiences access art. Neel is a contributing editor and regular writer for Artillery. His writings have also appeared in X-tra, Art Lies, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Bloomsbury Journal of Senses and Society. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Otis College of Art and Design.
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