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VCU’s Institute of Contemporary Art to bring artwork to local barbershops, salons

Salons and barbershops have been central communication hubs in African-American communities for as long as they have existed.

Detroit-based letterpress artist Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. knows this, and is working with 12 local barbers and salon owners to bring his art into their spaces.

His work, a letterpress process of using words on heavy-duty paper, consists of sayings or phrases that resonate with African-American life, such as the African proverb, “To get lost is to learn the way.”

 
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52 WEEKS OF PRINTMAKERS: AMOS KENNEDY JR.

I met Amos Kennedy Jr. at the opening of his show at Mule Gallery a couple of weeks ago. A self-described “humble negro printer,” Kennedyis currently turning a 3000 sq ft Detroit warehouse (that, at the moment, only has 1500 sq ft of roof) into a print shop and center for the study of letterpress print. Read on! And if you’re in the Bay Area, see his show before it closes at the end of June!

 

Amos Kennedy Jr.: From Corporate Analyst To Modern-Day Artisa

Why he left a comfortable middle-class life to become a “humble negro printer” and pursue a different kind of American dream working with his hands and using his art to challenge racial injustices.

 

Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.: Quotations of Rosa Louise Parks and Church Fans

Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr., describes himself as a “humble Negro printer.” Letterpress posters are Kennedy’s primary medium, and he often uses them as a means to distribute messages and aphorisms related to social justice issues, especially the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. In the poster series Quotations of Rosa Louise Parks, which he has produced over the last decade, Kennedy isolates statements by Parks that reflect her motivations and sensibility as a pioneer in the Civil Rights Movement, particularly in her iconic role fighting against bus segregation in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama.

 
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Let's Talk About Severed Heads

Mike and Liam are joined by Amos Kennedy of Kennedy Prints to talk about printmaking, the tech industry, art (or not), and being black in the U.S. There is also some discussion of that time Amos and Mike met Chuck D.

 
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$50,000 Joyce Awards go to MCBA and the O’Shaughnessy
 

At MCBA, Kennedy will lead a series of free work sessions where participants from underrepresented community groups will learn to print signage by hand. Their prints will be featured in the exhibition.