The Vegas Vernacular Project

The town of Las Vegas has an interesting history. However due to the nature of this place and  in order to keep up with our tourism demand, history is easily hidden by constant demolition and reinvention of buildings and neighbourhoods.

There is fortunately a group who cares about preserving history more than most people here. They are the wonderful folk of the Vegas Vernacular Project. Vegas Vernacular in a nutshell, is photographing hand drawn signage before the inevitable happens and all of it disappears forever. They held an enormously successful gallery showing recently, which was highly educational and eye opening.

A blurb from the Vegas Vernacular website:

“These signs were not intended as art. Instead, they were  created, as were their bigger  brethren on the Strip, to lure in potential customers and casual wanderers. The ‘splash art’ the sign makers created  is artful, bold, bright, garish, and sometimes cheesy and absurd. Without our being fully aware of it, these signs have helped shape our emotional relationship and experience of the city. But now, they are at risk.”

“With the increasing use of vinyl lettering, digital signage and screen-based advertising, they are an endangered species. Not only are the signs in danger of being lost, so too are the sign makers and their skills. They are a disappearing part of our history and soul that we are committed to preserving.”

Pretty awesome, hey?

Of course I could not resist buying a piece photographed by none other than the amazing Mark Johnson, which now sits pride of place in my bedroom.

isn’t it fabulous?

Serious props to Bryan, Mark, Jeff and everyone else involved in this stellar project. They are looking for more photographers (no need to be an expert or have fancy equipment) so contact them via the website if you’d like to help out!

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