I can’t remember when I first met Kenn Morgan, he probably showed up shortly after I established College Street Gallery on Allen Street around 1998 and he never left. I know that after all these years I probably never had someone who so believed in what I was doing. He was an unflinching supporter of not only me, but of anyone in the Arts. Kenn could see the value in what our gallery stood for and I suppose he appreciated my perseverance.
So much of what we do in the Arts is based on passion and Kenn was full of passion for the Arts broadly and more specifically photography. He could corner any photographer and talk forever. He was a teacher that never stopped inspiring us and it didn’t matter if you were a pro with years of experience or a beginner just trying to find your way, Kenn treated you with the same respect and attentiveness. A quality that not all of my Art world friends share.
Like many of my creative friends he was beyond obsessed with photography. As a teacher at Locust Street Art School he mentored photographers for years. He was a conduit that led people to his school. How many of us that showed up there would have ever done so were it not for him?
He documented the Art scene with an intensity that would tire a younger person.
He documented the Art scene with an intensity that would tire a younger person. At every Art reception he was omnipresent, clicking away and creating a collection of literally thousands of photographs that eventually would find their way back to the people in them, I know because the stack I accumulated is probably a foot high.
Throughout the years I came to know Kenn as a caring person with an affection for old movies and great music. One of his favorite places was behind a grill, tongs in one hand and a cold one in the other.
Losing a person like Kenn Morgan is especially painful because there was no else like him. He was an original old school shooter. He inspired me and many others to keep doing what we love because he kept doing what he loved. I for one will keep expecting him to walk through the door (six pack in hand) and that smile on his face.
Long after the great Art industrial complex has crumbled and the gatekeepers run from their hallowed halls there will still be a photography student that remembers Mr. Morgan.
Rest in Peace my Friend –
Michael Mulley (Buffalo photographer and gallerist)