Hi everyone! My name is Meredith Kasabian and I'm the co-founder of the Pre-Vinylite Society and the administrator of the PVS Facebook group. I wanted to take a moment to talk about the lack of diversity in the sign painting field and make sure that everyone is clear on the values that we embody in this community. The Pre-Vinylite Society is a progressive group. As our manifesto states, "the Pre-Vinylite Society is a forward-thinking organization, dedicated to a future informed by the past." We believe that signs are an important tool of communication and that handmade signs are art.
Due to the limited access to traditional methods of learning the trade (namely apprenticeships, trade schools, and unions), the field of sign painting is historically a white, male-dominated trade. Because of the introduction of vinyl in the 1980s, it is also dominated by white men of a certain age--those who chose to stick it out with paint and brushes through the vinyl era. However, like many things in our culture today, this is changing and we Pre-Vinylites embrace that change. As our 2017 Pre-Vinylettes exhibition showed, there are many more women in this field than a scroll through ours or any other sign painting Facebook group would reveal. The recent "But Where Are You Really From?" exhibition in California put sign painters of color in the spotlight for the first time ever. These are good things! And it's only the beginning.
I want to let everyone in our community know that if you are a woman, POC, LGBTQ, or any other marginalized group and you ever feel offended by a comment or post made by another PVS member with more privilege than you, I will always have your back. Since I can't always be on top of all the content that transpires in the PVS FB group, please let me know if you find something offensive. Better yet, those of you with more privilege, please let me know if you see something offensive so the burden is not always on the victim. I will support everyone who places justice before their own privilege and I strongly encourage, support, and celebrate all cis, white, straight men who participate in these efforts.
The Pre-Vinylite Society is a progressive group. We believe that signs are more than just markers of place or direction. They are more than just paint and technique. Signs are tools of communication and they are meaningful. They have the ability to change the world. Thank you for taking the time to read this.