Please join HCCC for a film screening of Sign Painters (2013, 81 minutes), the documentary that inspired a book of the same title and the current exhibition, For Hire: Contemporary Sign Painting in America. A Q & A will follow the screening with co-curators and directors, Sam Macon and Faythe Levine, along with featured sign painters, Norma Jeanne Maloney and Israel McCloud. The discussion will address the state of sign painting both nationally and locally, within the Houston community, as well as some of the challenges that sign painters face today in the industry.
Following the discussion, the Sign Painters book will be available for purchase in Asher Gallery, and authors Sam and Faythe will sign copies. HCCC members are invited to pre-order a copy of the book to guarantee availability. To do so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by October 7th.
Faythe Levine is the assistant curator at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. She co-curated For Hire: Contemporary Sign Painting in America, which stems from her research with Sam Macon for their documentary and book, Sign Painters (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012). She is also an artist, photographer, filmmaker, author, and prominent figure in the DIY indie-craft movement. Her first film and book, Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008) received national acclaim.
Sam Macon is a filmmaker, photographer, and writer based in Los Angeles, California. He co-curated For Hire: Contemporary Sign Painting in America, which stems from his research with Faythe Levine for their documentary and book, Sign Painters (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012). He directs documentaries, commercials, music videos, and short films and holds a BFA in film from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Norma Jeanne Maloney has been working for 30 years as a sign painter and currently lives in Taylor, Texas, outside of Austin. She began her career in the 1980s, painting signs for the race tracks of Lexington, Kentucky, and later moved to San Francisco, California, to pursue a design degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts. In 1996, while still living in San Francisco, she founded Red Rider Studios, where she worked in the sign and scenic industry for commercials and film, an experience that continues to influence her vintage style. She relocated the business to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2001, and eventually took a break from sign painting to pursue her childhood dream of driving an 18-wheeler. Maloney did not stay away from the sign painting industry for long, as she re-opened Red Rider Studios in Austin, Texas, in 2006.
Israel McCloud is a fourth-generation sign painter and writer, living in Houston, Texas. McCloud has contributed to the sign work within Houston’s Third Ward, as well as many businesses around Houston and in cities across the country. He is currently revising the exterior mural of the Mabrie Memorial Mortuary, located on Almeda Road. In October, 2017, McCloud will work on an installation, called Trace, with his daughter, Ayanna McCloud, at The African American Library at The Gregory School. This installation examines historical movements of past African American institutions and businesses through the lens of signage, poetry, and verse. In 2015, he painted a mural located on the corner of Wheeler Avenue and Almeda Road in Houston, dedicated to Trayvon Martin. In 2014, his work was included in Monuments: Right Beyond the Site at Project Row Houses.