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Amos Kennedy Prints at Community Folk Art Center

Some are distinctly regional; Kennedy is a regular at Southern book fairs so he has a series on that theme, such as "Wear an old coat and buy a new book!" He says fishing is a popular Southern passtime so there are wry sayings such as, "A man and a fish both get in trouble when they open their mouths." "If I had enough coffee I could rule the world" says one from the extensive coffee series. And there's a lengthy quote that begins with "Put Your Crazy Folk in Your Living Room," declaring that Southerners like to enjoy their crazy relatives rather than hiding them in the attic like Northerners. "How can you know Jesus," inquires another charmer, "If you can't write a thank-you note?"

And Kennedy urges that we embrace life and pursue happiness, even in his Momento Mori series with its taglines such as "You don't die from being sick, you die from being alive," and a line attributed to Charles de Gaulle - "The graveyards are filled with indispensable men."

Co-curators Andrew Saluti, assistant director of SUArts Galleries up the hill in Shaffer Art Center and an expert in his own right on the University's extensive print collection, and Chris Battaglia, interim curator at CFAC, both stressed the collaboration also went further than borrowing Boxcar Press' equipment. There was help from SU professor Holly Greenberg's printmaking workshop, from the University library's head of preservation and conservation, Peter Verheyen, and from the Newhouse School's collection of typefaces.

"And there is quite a letterpress print community here," said Saluti. "It really has quietly become a regional center. You see this in who's working, in what sells at local arts and crafts shows, and in new shops like Craft Chemistry. Even though Amos won't be here after today, the press will stay here and we'll have more print-making workshops over the next several weeks. I'm wanting to bring in other groups of young artists, students from Fowler and perhaps other schools. So his work will stay up and still be for sale but there will be other new work up too."

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