Famous Letterpress Printer Visits Kent State

At age 40, Amos Kennedy left his corporate job and secure middle-class life to pursue his passion for printing in the 1980s. Today, the letterpress printer, papermaker and builder of artist's books heads the letterpress printing’s revival with works ranging from the inspirational to the informative. Kennedy’s work embodies his passion for stirring up strong emotions and encouraging people to think in previously unexplored ways.

Kent State University’s School of Visual Communication Design welcomed artist Amos Kennedy for the screening of his film, “Proceed and Be Bold,” in the MAC Annex on Sept. 9. The film joins Kennedy for a retelling of his story, while examining the pretensions and provisions of the art world. The work of this self-proclaimed “Humble Negro Printer” raises emotionally charged questions and reveals remarkable depth beneath the bold print.

Kennedy also taught a letterpress workshop with Type High students and encouraged students to make the most of their time at university during a public lecture at the School of Visual Communication Design on Sept. 14.

“I encourage you, while you are here, to take advantage of this university. This is the last time you will ever be in such a diverse arena. This is one of things the university offers you, a diversity in knowledge,” Kennedy said. “No matter what class you take, the questions you should ask yourself before you take that class are, ‘What am I going to learn here that will make me a better printer, sculptor, painter or graphic designer… How am I going to translate what I learn in here to what my passion is?’”

Kennedy’s work will be featured at the Gallery Closing Reception and Print Sale on Friday, Sept. 18 at 6:00 p.m. at the Myers School of Art-Emely Davis Gallery in University of Akron’s Folk Hall. Meet the artist and buy some cool art.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 2:09pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 2:09pm