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Montana Made: ART Signs keeping up the tradition of neon

Posted at 6:07 PM, Jul 24, 2018

BILLINGS – The glow of a neon sign is a universal sign to ‘come in’, but due to cost and changing technology, neon work is becoming a thing of the past.

Andrew Thompson is one of the few people who works with neon in the state, and he is proud to carry on the tradition.

“Everyday is different,” Thompson said. “There is only a couple of us that do it anymore and LED’s are taking over, but it just doesn’t have the same effect that the neon does.”

Thompson started his business, ART Signs, over 10 years ago. The company does sign fabricating and sign installations, in addition to the neon work.

For Thompson, it is also a way to pay homage his grandfather, Roy Thompson, who owned a sign business as well. And while he never met him, he believes the craft is in his blood.

While Thompson does a lot of sign work, his real passion is art. He uses his skill ls to incorporate neon light with antique pieces, such as car bumpers and old farm equipment.

He is always looking for a new and unique way to incorporate light, and said he hopes to begin to add pottery and melted glass sculptures to his artwork.

Thompson is opening a booth at the Antique Warehouse and Liberty and Vine Country store at 2019 Montana Avenue in Billings.

He also can be contacted on his website for more information on custom work.

Reporting by Samantha Harrelson for MTN News