Signs of Life

Some people argue that all of human cultural history boils down to communication and its signs -- not the signs we encounter daily on the street, but semiotics, the elements of meaning that surround us in infinite forms.

John Randall Nelson’s exhibit, “Alter-Native Signs,” incorporates a different type of everyday sign: Recycled street and traffic signs from the Scottsdale Transportation Department. Crafted in two and three dimensions, his works including a 15-foot tall weathervane sculpture utilize signs to invite a dialogue about significance in our multicultural society.

Like the meanings they invoke, Nelson’s works are layered. From a distance, their lively forms -- rabbits, plants and coyote men suggestive of indigenous imagery -- appear to mock the staid stick-people adorning pedestrian signs. Nelson’s works are anything but pedestrian, however. Approach closer, and additional words and images emerge from their near-burial in paint.

Thu., May 5, 6-9 p.m., 2011

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >