Orange Alert

Skip to main content
Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Community Folk Art Center hosts Amos Kennedy Prints

Printmaker's works to be displayed at the CFAC Gallery Feb. 16 to April 2. Opening reception is Feb. 19.

Feb. 9, 2011, by Kevin Leonardi

The Community Folk Art Center (CFAC), 805 E. Genesee St., will host “Amos Kennedy Prints!” from Feb. 16 through 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, through 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. 

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 the CFAC gallery. The screening is presented 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 Paul Kennedy Jr. 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,” said Andrew Saluti, assistant director at Syracuse University Art 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,’” said Christopher Battaglia, interim curator at Community Folk Art Center.  “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.”

“Amos Kennedy Prints!” will be on view in concert with the exhibition “Infinite Mirror: Images of American Identity” at the Syracuse University Art 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. “Infinite Mirror” is open from Jan. 25 through March 20. For more information, visit

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. 

Community Folk Art Center is a unit of the African American Studies Department in The College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University. CFAC is a vibrant cultural and artistic hub committed to the promotion and development of artists of the African Diaspora. The mission of the center is to exalt cultural and artistic pluralism by collecting, exhibiting, teaching and interpreting the visual & expressive arts.  Community Folk Art Center is sponsored, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, the Cultural Resources Council, the Coalition of Museum & Art Centers at Syracuse University, the College of Arts & Sciences at Syracuse University and the Office of the Chancellor at Syracuse University. Our media sponsors are CNY Latino, Urban CNY and WAER 88.3. The Genesee Grande and Park View Hotels are the official accommodations for guests of Community Folk Art Center.