This year’s Ladies of Letterpress Conference was an altogether wonderful time of fellow-printer friend-making, of stirring discussion, of inspiration. Alabama-based Amos Kennedy was in attendance, bringing with him his for-show, smile-hinted sour attitude and clever wit.
After a screening of Proceed and Be Bold (a documentary film about him made by Brown Finch Films), conference participants had the chance to
ask questions of both Amos and the filmmaker.
Amos had much to say about the power that printmaker’s hold, simply in possessing a press. The print industry originated to disseminate information to the masses. Though the content of printed work has changed quite a bit, Amos argued that with that capability, comes great responsibility to distribute art that contributes to the greater good.
He also spoke about the sacrifices we must make to find and follow our bliss. For him, that means living in rural places with affordable studio space and plenty of time to create. He left a career, a city, relationships to pursue a simple life in which he could go to the press with his convictions. And, I think he will long be remembered for the message his work speaks.
I’ll be stewing on what I learned in Asheville for a long while.
Perhaps you’ll be hearing from me again, soon.
*I also learned the amusing story behind the above print—completed during Amos’ stint in York County, AL. The content of that story is not fit to share here. But, boy is it funny.