Arrow Sign Notes

In the early 80's I moved from Los Angeles to Washington, DC. In about 1982, I spent summer in Queen Anne's County, Maryland, and there were a lot of "arrow" signs there. One day, they were all gone, and I found out there was an ordinance placed against the "Arrow Sign". Since then, I have found them interesting, not only on what they have to ‘say' but also where they happen to be.

When I went to Alabama as an Outreach Student at the Rural Studio, I was thrilled at the high amount of hand written signs, old signs and "Arrow Signs". I think the first couple days I was there, I started taking photos of them, and notating their location. Throughout the year, I shot well over 100 of them all over Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, but primarily Alabama.

I created a show in 2007 called, "See all Fifteen at Once" which were 15 arrow signs from Alabama printed on 16"X20" silver gelatin paper letter-pressed with the location and date of each sign. Then, I set up chairs off of porches one might find in Alabama, and created paper fans with a map of Alabama indicated the location of each sign. Alabama's rural lifestyle was expressed by reading what they sign advertised, the landscape of where the sign was standing and the location of the sign in the state by lounging on a "porch".


Here are two arrow signs I took about two months apart from each other in Cana, Virginia. They corrected their typographical error of "Buckwheat Flower" on 11-25-06 to "Buckwheat Flour" by January 5 2007.


Bolar, Virginia 3-18-06

Here's an arrow sign that is completely hand made, from the "Arrow frame", to all the hand painted individual letters that slide in and out. This was taken during Highland County's Maple Sugar festival and the pancakes were yummy with real maple syrup!


Ryan Nelson drew this for me one day when he was "inspired".

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