We see them almost every day without thinking much of them. Weathered by time and rendered in old-fashioned script, hand-painted signs quietly bear the marks of a fascinating history. What was once a common job has now become a highly specialized trade. Kept alive by local schools and underground enthusiasts, sign painting tells a unique story of craft struggling against technological advance—a story in which a commercial trade is transformed into a deeply personal endeavor and a tradition is recast as rebellion. Sign Painters, directed by Faythe Levine & Sam Macon, explores this unacknowledged art form through the stories of sign-painters from across the country. This documentary celebrates those rare makers pushing sign-painting into the twenty-first century.
Join us for a screening with an introduction by co-director Sam Macon.
Sam Macon is a filmmaker, photographer, and writer based in Los Angeles, California. He is the co-author and director of the documentary film and book, Sign Painters (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012 / Bond360, 2013). He directs documentaries, commercials, music videos, and short films and holds a BFA in film from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Faythe Levine is the Assistant Curator at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. Her creative and curatorial practice centers on themes of community, creativity, awareness, process, empowerment, and documentation. She has made it a priority that her projects stay approachable and accessible to large audiences and interact with people in a way that establishes creativity as a vehicle for personal growth. Levine’s two best-known projects, Sign Painters (2013) and Handmade Nation (2009), which feature length documentaries as well as accompanying books, have toured extensively in both formal and renegade outlets.