Sign art museum opening this fall in Tucson

Giving old signs new life

TUCSON, Ariz. - A new museum will soon open its doors in Tucson. This one is unique to Arizona - it features sign art.

Some tell us where we're at. Others - what not to do. Or they may just light up. Signs can play an important part of what we do everyday. 

"You don't even appreciate them until they're gone," Jude Cook says. "And then you forget about them."

Cook has been creating and restoring signs for nearly 45 years. After he found his first sign, a Coca Cola sign, he was hooked. That was when he started his collection.

His passion is now taking him, and his wife, Monica, to open Ignite Sign Art Museum.

The museum will feature all sorts of signs, from neon to iconic and even pieces of Tucson history.

Cook says they'll focus on featuring local signs.

Ignite has been years in the making. The couple bought the warehouse for the museum last October after spending two years looking for the right spot. 

Cook says he's never counted how many signs he has. By now, he says he must have at least 300. He's always looking for more signs, too. He finds many of them at antique shops or from people who have them and don't know what to do with them. 

"If there's stuff out there that's worth trying to preserve, I'm trying to get ahold of it so it doesn't get thrown away," Cook says.

With the many signs and display's, Ignite's mission is to entertain, preserve and educate.

The museum will also host events and sign making classes. 

Ignite is set to open October 10 at 331 S. Olsen Avenue, just south of Broadway.

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