Renowned local artist sets up shop in The Spot
March 4, 2016
Southern Torch (3696 articles)
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Renowned local artist sets up shop in The Spot

Renowned local artist sets up shop in The Spot

Hale’s work has marked “The Spot” since it’s opening.

By Tyler Pruett

tyler@southerntorch.com

FORT PAYNE, Ala— The large, hand-painted sign that hangs above Gault Avenue marking Fort Payne’s favorite coffee shop has quickly become synonymous with the revitalization efforts in the downtown area. The artist responsible for this work and the other unique, hand painted signage that adorns most of the businesses along Gault is none other than Chris Hale.

Justin Sweeney, owner and operator of The Spot, is proud to announce that Hale has set up shop in the upstairs loft of his restaurant. From the menu that hangs above the counter, to the advertising on the windows as you enter from Gault ave, The Spot already displays much of his work.

Since the coffee shop’s opening, Hale’s work has been as much a part of the business as its iconic building and location. “We’ve prospered greatly from Chris’ work, and we’re happy to make him a part of our business now,” Sweeney said.

“Just in the couple of weeks we’ve had Chris doing his work in here, we’ve already benefitted from the traffic looking for the sign painter,” he added.

Hale has years of experience in custom, hand-crafted signage. “All of my friends will tell you that I’m old school,” Hale said proudly. Not all that long ago, before the age of graphic design and laser printing, all billboards and advertisements were hand-painted by a specialized craftsman. While modern technology has made producing visual advertising easier, the unique styling of advertising created by different artist has been lost.

In the era of the hand-painted signage, many small towns only had one sign painter, with their own distinctive style. This would give the whole “mainstreet” area it’s own common theme. While this was lost with time in most towns, Fort Payne is lucky enough to have a talented artist to continue this tradition, giving the town it’s own style itself.

Renowned local artist sets up shop in The SpotBut Hale’s work extends further than just northeast Alabama. “I’ve painted signage all over the country,” he noted, “from California, all the way to North Carolina.”

Hale can not only paint custom signage, but is also known for his woodworking. “He also makes beautiful, hand-crafted hickory furniture,” Sweeney said. “Chris and his sons collect the needed wood straight from the northeast Alabama forest,” he added.

Hale’s work fits perfectly into the overall theme of The Spot. “I want everything in the shop; from the food, to the coffee, and even art on the wall to be handcrafted as well as unique,” Sweeney said with a smile.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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