Long story: We were out for a walk. A Black Lives Matter sign caught our eye. Nice lettering. We crossed the street for a closer look. What a beauty. In the lower corner was the maker’s mark: Need Signs? Will Paint. We didn’t really need any signs, so we asked the maker, Kenji Nakayama, to paint us a handful of alphabets and numbers. He delivered to us nine 14 × 11-inch sheets for our current Super-Small Exhibit. (It’s a perfect companion to our larger exhibit.) 

Kenji Nakayama was born in Tomokomai on the island of Hokkaido, Japan, in 1979. He trained to become a mechanical engineer, but moved to Boston in 2005 to study sign painting at the now defunct Butera School of Art. Kenji has since developed a thriving practice, lettering and painting signs for retailers, restaurants, and institutions across New England.