Tenderloin Museum // Neon Family

Neon Family: A Tribute By Roxy Rose

The pieces in Neon Family: A Tribute by Roxy Rose have each been created as expressions of loving memory of Roxy’s father, Rio Score II, who passed away in February 2019, and in tribute to their four-generation family neon business, Alert-Lite Neon, which closed in November 2018. Each work was completely created by Roxy—from cutting and shaping the metal, to painting it, to bending and pumping the neon tubing—to reflect on Rio Score II’s life, revealing also a piece of Roxy’s own biography, all through the glow of neon.

Roxy Rose Score grew up in a neon family. Her grandfather, Rio Score, founded Alert-Lite Neon in 1946, raising his son, Rio Score II, in the family trade. Like her father, Roxy was raised in the family neon shop, learning the neon trade from childhood along with her brothers in a rigid-but-informal apprenticeship that stressed speed and accuracy along with the highest level of expert craftspersonship. Her turn to neon works explicitly as works of art came later, after she sold the business, as part of more profound transition: her own gender transition.

When Roxy came out as transgender in 2010, able to manifest on the outside what she’d always felt on the inside, she began to see her craft and skills as more than a blue-collar trade or a way of expressing a client’s ideas, but instead as a way of expressing a long-sublimated part of her own identity—that of an artist, able to express herself through works of neon.

Opening Reception:
Thursday April 4th // 6pm-9pm
Tenderloin Museum
398 Eddy Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

On display in the Tenderloin Museum art gallery April 4th – 28th