I began painting signs and lettering trucks in Troy, New York, in 1986. My skills as a signmaker have strong roots in my experiences with the traditional techniques of the sign making craft: hand carving, surface gilding, reverse-glass gold leaf lettering, hand lettering, screen printing, and large-scale wall lettering projects. In addition to the traditional techniques of sign making. I paint large-scale imagery on walls, sometimes at significant heights.
It was through a chance meeting with John Daly, a sign painter in my hometown of Troy, that I was turned on to sign painting and I was reminded of my skills and desires to paint. I was a construction laborer at the time and that meeting set me on a path; John Daly is the sole reason I do what I do. John passed away on July 3, 2020, the day after I completed the painting of the Harbison’s Dairy water tower. I think about John often and every time I paint signs.
Throughout the 90s and early 2000s, I specialized in the production and installation of exhibition graphics for museums. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Barnes Foundation, and Winterthur Museum and Library were my main clients. Large format, on-site vertical screen printing, as well as hand lettering and directional signage for exhibitions, were the services I provided with my longtime colleague, Robin Segal. We are still available for those services.
I have had the privilege of collaborating with contemporary artists to realize their installations, working with Ed Ruscha, Bruce Naumann, Lawrence Weiner, Richard Tuttle, Kay Rosen, Regina Silveira, performance artist Laurie Anderson, and many others.
.I travel the country regularly as a “journeyman sign painter” working in NYC, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles and Austin, TX.
Commercial Client List:
West Elm, Volkswagen, Starbucks, Adidas, Nike, La Colombe, Starr Restaurants, Schulson Restaurant Group, and Stokes Architecture
The Barnes Foundation, ICA Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Fabric Workshop, Moore College of Art and Design, Winterthur Museum and Library, MassMoca, The City Museum of New York, The Clark Art Institute and The Whitney Museum.
My work can be seen on instagram @gibbsconnors