Syracuse University

SU News

Community Folk Art Center to host 'Amos Kennedy Prints!'

February 09, 2011

Kevin Leonardi

Community Folk Art Center (CFAC) will be hosting “Amos Kennedy Prints!” from Feb. 16-April 2. Focusing on issues of race, violence and community, “Amos Kennedy Prints!” features the hand-printed works of Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., and will include prints created at CFAC. By transforming the gallery into an active printmaking workshop, Kennedy will collaborate with students from the Syracuse area and Syracuse University to create images and broadsides that reflect issues of race, gender and politics and illustrate the impact of violence in the city on their lives and community.

The workshop will run from Wednesday, Feb. 16,-Friday, Feb. 18, from noon-8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and from noon-5 p.m. on Friday. The public is invited to meet Kennedy and to observe and participate in the printmaking process.

The completed exhibition will open with a cash and carry reception on Saturday, Feb. 19, from noon-2 p.m., where all prints will be available to purchase for $20 each.

Kennedy is internationally known for his focus on delicate social subjects through his “in-your-face” prints, posters and broadsides. Formerly a computer programmer, Kennedy walked away from his life to become an artist in the lost crafts of printing and book art. Kennedy prints out of Gordo, Ala., under the imprint “Kennedy Prints!” and focuses on posters, community broadsides and other ephemera. Kennedy also lectures and teaches all over the United States.

“Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. is a major figure in contemporary printmaking, giving the letterpress print a loud voice in the digital world,” says Andrew Saluti, assistant director at SUArt Galleries and co-curator of the exhibition. “His text-based imagery commands interaction, communicating so much more than an e-mail or Tweet ever could.”

“To my knowledge, we have never had an exhibition at CFAC quite like ‘Amos Kennedy Prints,’” says Christopher Battaglia, interim curator at CFAC. “Having Amos create and sell pieces in the gallery itself gives the community a truly unique opportunity to witness the lost art of letterpress printing and participate in its creation. I sincerely hope that many people take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.”

In addition to the workshop and reception, CFAC will screen the documentary “Proceed and Be Bold!” by Laura Zinger on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. in cooperation with Syracuse University Library. The film is a titillating retelling of Kennedy’s story that examines the pretensions and provisions of the art world. A self-proclaimed “humble Negro printer,” Kennedy raises emotionally charged questions and reveals remarkable depth beneath the boldness of his prints.

“Amos Kennedy Prints!” will be on view in concert with the exhibition “Infinite Mirror: Images of American Identity” at SUArt Galleries in the Shaffer Art Building on the SU campus. American artists of African, Arab, European, Asian, Latino and Native American descent explore their heritage in this vivid and diverse exhibition through a wide variety of media.

For questions about the exhibition, programming or any other events at CFAC, contact (315) 442-2230 or Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Recent News