We see them almost every day without a second thought. Weathered by time, distinct characteristics shining through, hand-painted signs are a product of a fascinating 150 year-old American history. What was once a common job has now become a highly specialized trade, a unique craft struggling with technological advances. “Sign Painters,” directed by Faythe Levine & Sam Macon, stylistically explores this unacknowledged art form through anecdotal accounts from artists across the country. These vanguards of unseen originality are leading a renaissance with a keen creative purpose and exemplify the working class American success story. “Sign Painters” celebrates those keeping the tradition intact with a bespoke approach and appreciation for a balance between art and commerce.
Steve Beach, known as Steve the Sign Painter, will lead a post-screening discussion.
About the Filmmaker:
Faythe Levine works as an independent researcher, artist, photographer, filmmaker and curator. Her work focuses on themes of community, creativity, awareness, process, empowerment and documentation. Levine’s first film and book, “Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design” was published by Princeton Architectural Press. She is currently working on her third book about a pioneer show-woman, Mimi Garneau.
About the Speaker:
Steve Beach is known as Steve the Sign Painter. Steve is a lifelong Colorado resident, raised in Boulder. He graduated from the Colorado Institute of Art in 1982. Beginning as a freelance illustrator, Steve painted his first billboard in Denver in 1985. He has been a self-employed sign painter since 1996.
Running time: 81 minutes
Sign Painters: The Unacknowledged Artists