IN PRAISE OF THE HANDMADE SIGN - TENNESSE, VIRGINIA and KENTUCKY
Self expression is everywhere in the rural Southeast. People express themselves with t-shirts, tattoos, front license plates and lawn decorations. There is a fierce independence in the area. And you see that spirit everyday in the handmade sign. The signs are made for a plethora of reasons: to delight, to inform, to threaten, to sell, to protest, to save.
One thing they have in common is the human touch. Letters are lovingly cut from thin wood, words are pinstriped in red and outlined in white, messages are hastily spray painted. The hand is visible and the results are imperfectly perfect.
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Tammy Mercure is a State Guide to Tennessee. She was recently named one of the “100 under 100: The New Superstars of Southern Art” by Oxford American magazine.