Thursday, December 4, 2008

Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.

I recently attended a talk by Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr., "Put the Message in the Hands of the People and Move On!" at the Newark Public Library in N.J. The event was part of the library exhibit, More than Words: Artists' Books and Book Art from the Special Collections of the Newark Public Library.

The library press release states:

He is a letterpress printer and "book-builder" known internationally for his socially, politically, and racially charged works of art, and his focus on themes of African and African-American heritage, history and culture. Formerly a computer systems analyst for AT&T, Kennedy abandoned the comfort and steady income of his corporate job to pursue a humble life dedicated to studying, practicing, and promoting the printing arts.
Kennedy sold some of his hand-printed, letterpress posters for $10 or $15, which was great; I snapped up the Borges quote, in addition to a couple of others, one of which I donated to the library's archives. I like Kennedy's thoughts about art, accessibility and community. The photo above is from his web site, and shows him in his Gordo, Alabama studio.

Check out video from the documentary about his life and art, Proceed and Be Bold! at

And check out to see more of his work and for information about purchasing a poster or two.

These are from his web site:

These cardboard postcards were free at his talk, and give you a sense of his biting wit and philosophy about art and politics:

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