During an interview with NHPR, printmaker Amos Kennedy, on campus this week as part of this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, was asked why he calls himself a “humble negro printer.” Why not “great artist, acknowledged all over the world?”
“I have some serious issues with the title of artist,” says Kennedy, whose work is housed, among other places, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“I think that in the latter half of the 20th century, the term artist and art has been usurped from the masses, and it’s become this almost pristine, high-level vocation. Artists tend to do very conceptual things, and some people I know who are artists feel that their work is not for the unintellectual, that there is so much meaning and layering to their work that the average citizen would not get it. And so that type of artist I object to. And also, we are all artists, because we are all creative and we all make things, so why make this distinction?”
Listen to the full story, which aired 1/30/13 on NHPR’s Word of Mouth.