Oct. 27, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) announces that
letterpress printer Amos Kennedy Jr., poet Holly Wren Spaulding, and Leora Kahn, executive director and founder of PROOF: Media for Social Justice, will discuss how art may be created from social and political ideas. This panel discussion will take place at 5 p.m. on Thursday Nov. 9, in Bowman Hall room 319, on the MCLA campus.

This event, which is free and open to the public, is part of MCLA’s Fine and Performing Arts Department’s year-long exploration of the theme, “We the People.”

Associate professor of art Melanie Mowinski will moderate the discussion.

“I organized this panel discussion to help inspire MCLA students to consider how they can use text and image to express their experience of current events, and to spark ideas for activism, on and off campus,” Mowinski said. “Art has power. Our students know that. These artists will show that power to influence the world in action.”

The three artists will explain how political and social movements has influenced or inspired their work over the years. In addition, they will discuss the impact of current affairs, as well as their process of creation. Politics often influence art, but does artistic expression have the power to alter political decisions? The panel will address this question and others like it.

In addition, presentations and demonstrations with Kennedy will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 8, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., in Bowman Hall room 303. The presentation and demonstrations will be informational, as well as hands-on, and all are welcome to attend.

Exhibits will be on display Nov. 13 through Nov. 20 on the third floor of Bowman Hall, and Nov. 20 through Dec. 11, on the first floor of Bowman Hall.

At age 40, Kennedy abandoned the traditional American Dream to follow his own. Unsatisfied with his comfortable, middle-class life, he traded in his computer and white collar for a printing press and a pair of overalls. Armed with life, liberty, peanuts, and a meager yearly income of $7,000, Kennedy cranked out a new, mutinous declaration of independence, Mowinski said.

Driven by her belief that living a mindful life immersed in art is a revolutionary act, Spaulding is a poet and teaching artist who catalyzes her collaborators, clients, and students toward a more humane and intimate way of being in the world. In addition, Kahn – a photo editor for more than 25 years – in 2006 decided, along with a group of internationally known photojournalists, to combine their skills and experience to make an impact in the world, according to Mowinski.

This project is made possible thanks to support from the College’s art department, PRESS, MCLA Academic Affairs, The Hardman Foundation, Title III, and the English/communications department.
For more information, contact Mowinski, (413) 662-5264, or

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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