PROCEED AND BE BOLD! Poster by Amos Kennedy

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This one-of-a-kind poster was designed and letterpress printed by Amos Kennedy. Displaying the words "Proceed and Be Bold," the main quote was taken from architect Samuel Mockbee, one of the founders of the Rural Studio at the University of Auburn. The Rural Studio is an off-campus design-build program for students with a focus on the recycling, reusing, and remaking of structures in underserved communities in West Alabama's Black Belt. In the words of Samuel Mockbee, "Everyone, rich or poor, deserves a shelter for the soul."

Original letterpress poster printed on chipboard with oil-based inks. Measures 12.5 x 19 inches. Ships flat.

Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.’s life took a sharp turn after he saw a vintage printing press in action while visiting Colonial Williamsburg. That chance encounter inspired him to change the course of his career, studying and eventually becoming a master letterpress printer.

Unlike so-called “fine printers” who have chosen to embrace letterpress as a precious form of high art, Kennedy’s work doubles down on the democratic and of-the-moment nature of printing. There’s an excitement and urgency present in each piece, resulting in posters that are just as informative as they are visually delightful.

He is best known for his intense use of layering, stacking phrases and words on top of each other until they are abstracted, almost hidden. He deftly mixes wood and metal type alongside handmade pressure prints, linoleum cuts, carved designs, and laser-cut imagery. Visual jokes are plentiful.

The Letterpress Posters of Amos Kennedy (October 8, 2020–January 3, 2021) is the inaugural exhibition of Poster House’s series installed in the entry gallery of the Museum.

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