Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.: Rosa Parks Series
Amos Kennedy (Detroit, MI) is an American printer, book artist, and papermaker best known for social and political commentary, particularly in printed posters. Kennedy quit working as a systems analyst in his early forties to continue his interest in printmaking. The ability to produce multiples was a primary factor with this choice of arts media.(1)
Kennedy creates prints, posters, and postcards from handset wood and metal type, oil-based inks, and eco-friendly and affordable chipboard. Many of the posters are inspired by proverbs, sayings, and quotes Kennedy locates or potential clients provide.(2)
Using hand presses, he “produces large editions of wildly colourful, typographically-driven posters on inexpensive chipboard stock, posters which are often so riotously layered with vibrant colours of ink as to retain a wet iridescence and tackiness years after they were printed. His working method often involves overprinting multiple layers of text… resulting in no two prints being truly identical.”(3)
Shortly after Rosa Parks’ death in 2005, Kennedy embarked on a series of prints that highlight the power, humanity, and determination in her voice. He wanted to tell a larger story of Parks, beyond one incident on a bus — he wanted to honor her broader civil rights activism. This series combines her quotes with his multi-layered printmaking process.
Amos Kennedy’s works are in numerous library, museum, and private collections, including the U.S. Library of Congress. BIMA is pleased to borrow and show these sixteen (16) prints, based on quotes by Rosa Parks. This particular set of prints is from the Collection of Cynthia Sears.
1. Wikipedia, Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.
2. Fields, Monique (Jan 2012). “Words to Live By,” American Craft Council.
3. Steeves, Andrew. “Print! Amos Kennedy, Jr. & the Fine Art of Rabblerousery.”