Colorado Wall Dogs by Laura Russell (POD Version)

Colorado Wall Dogs: Ghost Signs Across the State began as a limited-edition artist book. My goal was to document and preserve Colorado’s historic painted brick wall ghost signs by cataloging and photographing this important part of the state’s history. While searching out and photographing these hand-painted signs I nicknamed the signs “wall dogs” in homage to the men who painted them. My three-year effort to photograph the signs was an incredible exploration of a graphic and architectural history that taught me much about our buildings, our communities and our past.

Artist Bio

Laura Russell is a photographer and book artist who creates hand-bound, limited-edition artist books that incorporate photographs of our urban landscape and tell a story about our culture and our communities. She has participated in national and international book arts and fine art exhibitions. Her books are collected by individual collectors and are in major collections at museums, libraries, universities and corporations. Laura is also the founder of 23 Sandy Gallery, a fine art gallery in Portland, 2007-2020, which is now owned and operated by Erin Mickelson.

Artist Statement

My goal as an artist is to open our minds to the visual and graphic landscape we look at every day but never really see. If we pay attention, we find that our urban landscape has a story to tell about our culture and our communities. For many years I have photographed vintage neon signs, brick wall ghost signs, graffiti and other examples of language and graphics in our environment. Recently, I have since expanded my photography to our urban social landscape. I use these photographs to create limited edition, hand-bound artist books that are at once a celebration of the vernacular and my own small effort to preserve our social, cultural and commercial landscape.