Projects > Neighborhood Sign Club / 2007

Neighborhood Portraits, is a one-day sign-making opportunity for passersby on a selected neighborhood sidewalk, which culminates in a public sign-installation for that neighborhood.

As a collective, we prepared for the one-day project by collecting wood scraps and left over color house paints and pre-painting base coats for signs to be painted. We then scouted for locations in neighborhoods that have ample foot traffic, space for setting up painting tables, and a suitable backdrop for the signs to be installed as the day progresses.

On the selected day, we arrive with tables, drop cloths, paintbrushes, paints, aprons and signboards and set up shop. We use our own hand drawn signs to introduce the project, but most involvement comes from engaging passersby on the street and creating an easy and fun atmosphere for individuals to get involved in painting their own signs in their own words. In this way, the paint table becomes a place where neighbors meet, sometimes for the first time, and talk about their neighborhood and themselves. For us all, it is an opportunity to challenge our assumptions about who we are and where we live. At the end of the day a collection of painted word signs are left as a “neighborhood portrait” for future passersby to read.

The Neighborhood Sign Club are: Megan Saperstein, Leigh Ann Martin and Alison Pebworth.

Support for this project was provided by Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure Grant Program