Screening: Sign Painters at the Monarch, Medicine Hat

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.

GDC Alberta South Presents Sign Painters

  • GDC Members  $7.00 advance ticket
  • Non-members  $10.00 advance or at the door 
  • Students  $5.00 advance or at the door (with valid student ID)


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There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards, and even street signs were all handlettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the technofueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computerdesigned, diecut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade. In 2010 filmmakers Faythe Levine, coauthor of Handmade Nation, and Sam Macon began documenting these dedicated practitioners, their timehonored methods, and their appreciation for quality and craftsmanship. 

Faythe Levine is an artist, photographer, flimmaker, and curator based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is the founder of Art vs. Craft and curates Sky High Gallery. Levine‚Äôs first film and book, Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design was published by Princeton Architectural Press. Sam Macon is a Milwaukee-born, Chicago-based filmmaker, photographer, and writer. He received his BFA in film from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and directs music videos, commercials, short films, and documentaries.