Donna Mitchell

March 6, 1997 - March 29, 1997

Detail, Beauty Shop Window, Southeast Alabama

Image © Donna Mitchell

Beauty Shop Window painted by Curtis Everett, Blakely, Georgia

Image © Donna Mitchell

Muscles And Fist With Christmas Lights, Northeast Florida

Image © Donna Mitchell

Beauty Shop Couple, Eulonia Georgia

Image © Donna Mitchell

Beauty
1994

Image © Donna Mitchell

Barbs Cafe

Image © Donna Mitchell

Upholsterers

Image © Donna Mitchell

TV

Image © Donna Mitchell

TV Shop

Image © Donna Mitchell

Good Shepherd Jesus

Image © Donna Mitchell

Big 6 Disco

Image © Donna Mitchell

Green Faced Jesus

Image © Donna Mitchell

Abandoned Business

Image © Donna Mitchell

Chimney Flower

Image © Donna Mitchell

Last Supper

Image © Donna Mitchell

Aerial AG Service

Image © Donna Mitchell

Boarding the Ark

Image © Donna Mitchell

CJ Grocery

Image © Donna Mitchell

Marvin Pilcher Barber

Image © Donna Mitchell

Bear

Image © Donna Mitchell

Jean Tailor

Image © Donna Mitchell

4-upholsterers_0

Image © Donna Mitchell

Youth Club

Image © Donna Mitchell

Beef

Image © Donna Mitchell

Guest Laundry

Image © Donna Mitchell

Blue Bar

Image © Donna Mitchell

Jesus in Garden

Image © Donna Mitchell

Jesus Garden Mural

Image © Donna Mitchell

Jesus Garden Weeds

Image © Donna Mitchell

Executive Inn

Image © Donna Mitchell

Executive Inn Family

Image © Donna Mitchell

Donna Mitchell

In those parts of the South where small enterprises come and go, signs are often painted by hand on sheets of metal or plywood, on the brick and plaster of exterior walls or directly on the glass of shop windows. Sometimes ambitious wall murals that describe religious or historic events cover entire sides of buildings. For several years, I photographed the signs and murals when I stumbled across them. Then I began to make excursions looking for them and whenever possible, for the people who painted them. Some have been produced by bold volunteers, others by painters of local renown.

The ones that draw me in have a sense of story or character, told with daring of someone not intimidated by the task of picture making, someone who knows that the point of a picture isn’t so much to make something look real as to tell you what is real. I like to think that these are the signs of people who mean to be pictured by and for themselves, people who will leave their image to stand, accruing others layers of reality, for as long as the elements permit.