Not all projects turn out as planned for the Rural Studio and its clients. A resident of Akron, Alabama had offered to donate private land as the location for a Boys & Girls Club. Using the brick shell of a former grocery store that stood there, students designed and built a fantastic structure with a vaulted shed roof and an open floor plan.
I had seen all the lovely images by Timothy Hursley of kids and community hanging out in preparation for recreation. Seven years later, I learned that legal squabbles between the town and the owner resulted in an impasse. The structure has yet to be used for its intended purpose, but it currently claims a space for one artist who hand-sets print for posters and books.
You could say that Amos Kennedy is part of this sustainability and recycling movement going on. He moves to rural Alabama, makes use of a building, and salvages old Heidelberg presses for commercial and personal enterprises. His is an ethic of recycling — not for the sake of landfills but for the sake of culture and authenticity and a link to the past.
For the sake of sensitivity of others, I redacted the first word of a poster behind Amos’ head (see unedited version).
(Photo: Trent Gilliss)