Acclaimed Letterpress Artist in Residency April 15-19 at Wells College

April 2, 2019
Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. and his work will be featured in a weeklong series of events, including a lecture, film screening, exhibit and poster sale.
Posters by Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.

The Wells College Book Arts Center, String Room Gallery and Office of Diversity and Inclusion are pleased to host acclaimed letterpress printer Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. for an on-campus residency April 15–19, 2019. This weeklong series of events will feature multiple opportunities for students and community members to work with and learn from Kennedy. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Kennedy is an internationally recognized fixture in the letterpress community. Renowned for his bold use of typography and renegade letterpress technique, he has built a forceful, witty and incisive creative practice. He is careful to align his work and persona, using both to interrogate past and present experiences of race, class, education, gender and art.

Kennedy's residency coincides with "Visual Noise," an exhibition of 740 poster prints, on view now through Friday, April 19 at the College's String Room Gallery. The letterpress posters in this exhibition include selections from several series of work, drawing on a wide range of topics and texts, including the words of Rosa Parks, declarations for the necessity of books and libraries, forceful reminders of America's foundational relationship with slavery, the alignment between food and identity, and praise for acts of skilled making. (For gallery hours and more details, please visit

In addition to several opportunities to print and speak with Kennedy on April 15, 16 and 17 (see below for full details), the community is welcome to attend a screening of "Proceed and Be Bold" on Wednesday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. in Stratton Hall 209. The 2008 documentary, directed by Laura Zinger, explores Kennedy's career, including his life-changing decision to build a career around printing. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Kennedy, and refreshments will be provided.

The following evening, on Thursday, April 18, Amos Kennedy will discuss his motivations further in an artist talk, titled "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothin'." His talk, which is the 47th edition of the Susan Garretson Swartzburg '60 Memorial Book Arts Lecture, will take place at 6:00 p.m. in Stratton Hall 209.

While Kennedy's work is widely exhibited and held in collections, he ensures access to his posters by selling them at affordable prices. The "Visual Noise" exhibition will culminate with a closing reception and "cash and carry" event on Friday, April 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the String Room Gallery, where posters will be available for purchase.

Kennedy's residency is cosponsored by the Wells College Book Arts Center, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the String Room Gallery and the Wells College Scholar-in-Residence program

All are welcome to join Kennedy at the following public events during his residency:

Open Printing Drop-In Sessions with Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.
Monday, April 15, 2019
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
3:30–6:30 p.m. both days
Wells College Book Arts Center, Morgan Hall

Tea Time with Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
3:00 p.m.
Sommer Center

Documentary Film Screening: "Proceed and Be Bold" and Q&A
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
7:00 p.m.
Stratton Hall 209

Artist Talk by Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.: "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothin'"
The 47th Susan Garretson Swartzburg '60 Memorial Book Arts Lecture
Thursday, April 18, 2019
6:00 p.m.
Stratton Hall 209

"Visual Noise" Exhibit: Closing Reception and "Cash & Carry" Poster Sale
Friday, April 19, 2019
Reception: 6:30–8:00 p.m.
Cash & Carry Poster Sale: 8:00–8:30 p.m.
String Room Gallery, Main Building (1st floor)

Watch an Interview with Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.

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