Have you heard of the Ignite Sign Art Museum? If you love nostalgia or simply have an interest in the art of neon this is the museum for you! But it’s more than just a museum, it’s also a creative experience if you want to take classes and build your own neon sign!
Jim Cook makes his career out of making signs and restoring older neon signs. Almost a decade ago he started his restorations and to date has restored 24 of Tucson’s iconic neon signs as well as signs in Casa Grande’s neon park. On top of all that Jim is also a collector. When that collection hit critical mass the Ignite Sign Art Museum was born in the fall of 2018.
Ignite, along with its sister company Cook & Company Signmakers also maintains the historical Gateway Cactus of Tucson along Oracle Rd.
The collection is artfully arranged in classic storefront vignettes. You will find a Texaco station, Molinas Mexican Restaurant, The Lyric Theater, the Sign Yard, and De Anza Drive-in Theater. As of June 2022, 8 new storefronts have been added to Ignites “Argon Alley.”
Argon is one of three noble gasses used to make up neon signs. The amount of gas in the tube also plays into the color of light that it emits. You’ll learn all about this on your visit to the Ignite Sign Art Museum.
Children will also love the museum, there are several interactive exhibits that will delight them as well as you.
Are you interested in making your own neon signage? Well now is your chance! Classes cost $165 and run approximately 2 hours. You get to pick out your backing and neon out of salvage neon signs. You can feel good about this art upcycling and walk away with a completely custom piece for yourself or a friend!
If you’re planning a trip to Ignite here’s the information you need to know.
Location: 331 S. Olsen Tucson, AZ 85719
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 AM – 4 PM
General Admission $12
Senior (over 65) $10
Student (with ID) $ 8
Children (6-17) $ 8
Under 6 Free