Colorado Creatives

Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Molly Bounds

#37: Molly Bounds

Young Denver artist Molly Bounds, aka Moldy Bongs, straddles the worlds of DIY homemade comix and fine art, making deadpan and unironic drawings that work just as well splashed in colors across a wall in a mural as they do carefully inked in black and white for a zine. Committed and involved with the local collaborative scene, Bounds is a perfect model of the new artist in a young century. We invited Bounds to share her world via the 100CC questionnaire; keep reading for a round of answers as straightforward as her work.

If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Without any hesitation, Margaret Kilgallen. There are a lot of artists who make work with efforts to make a difference, and that description is about as broad and cliche as it gets, but Margaret Kilgallen exercised intersectionality in every aspect of her work. No matter who she painted, what she painted, where she painted them and who she painted them for, Kilgallen kept to her convictions of helping the community through her work, not only in her emphasis on changing the representation of women, but also her allegiance to helping small businesses in pre-gentrified areas. I find it's pretty common for emerging artists to abandon their reasons for making art once large sums of money are introduced.

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

Tavi Gevinson, the editor of Rookie Mag. I wish so badly that something like this was around when I was in high school, but the fact that it does exist now makes me so hopeful. For those who don't know, but should by now, Rookie Mag Yearbook is a publication for the most part, by and for teen girls. They tackle issues that seem far beyond the maturity level I had in high school, as well as issues that most teenage girls think they are going through alone, but aren't.

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?


What's your day job?

I have worked part-time at Buffalo Exchange for almost five years now. It began as my student job, and here I am still working there, because in some ways, it feels like a second family at this point. I started working at Diamond Hill Print Shop as well, which has been so beneficial. Martin Hammond has to be one of the top five screen printers in the world and printing under his direction, I have learned so much about the process. He encourages his employees past and present to use the facilities to make their own work, which couldn't be a better trade-off.

A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?

Buy warehouses all over the place, not just in Denver, to become large community art spaces and venues for all ages. The first and most memorable art shows/performances/music shows I was lucky enough to witness happened in places like Rhinoceropolis, Mutiny NOW Cafe, Mouth House, GLOB, Blast-O-Mat (Now Seventh Circle Music Collective). These venues, though often treated like nuisances, offer so much to the art community, especially the emerging young artists.

What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?

I would like to see more of Denver's art-related facilities designated to helping Denver's young art community. Instead, I am in constant fear of places that have been sanctuaries for creative artists and musicians alike (places like Rhinoceropolis) being bought out and shut down only to be turned into restaurants or condos.

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

Kevin Hennessy. I have always been a fan, not only of his style, but also his work ethic. In a city that is constantly under construction having new apartments built and commercial businesses expanding, Kevin Hennessy's hand painted storefront signs are a familiar face, reminders that I'm still at home. I have to mention Sarah Slater and {Westword writer} Bree Davies, for their efforts of putting Titwrench Festival together. Titwrench fest is truly impactful on all that partake, and it is so beneficial to have something like that coming out of Denver. Matt Scobey has always been so supportive of everyone else in the art scene, old and new, and that is extremely refreshing.

What's on your agenda in the coming year?

I'd like to become better acquainted in the alternative comics scene of Denver. I keep trying to bring zines and comics into the gallery setting, but I'd like to just invest more time to comic-exclusive events. Chicago has CAKE (Chicago Alternative Comics Expo), Toronto has TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Festival, L.A. has the L.A. Zine Fest and there are so many more. I think Denver's ready for one, and I hope I get to be a part of that. I'm also collaborating with a group of others (Kahlil Cezanne, Al Page, Kenyatta Cole, Xavien Lahey) on a contemporary art and alternative/art comix mag called Calico Quarterly. It's in its early stages, so I don't want to speak too soon, but I am very excited about it.

Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in 2015?

Alex Fiedler will and should absolutely get noticed for his art, whether he wants it or not. He's too humble for his own good, but his work is delicate and relatable in its heart-breaking factor. You wouldn't notice it without looking at the right fliers or checking in the right record sleeves, but it's tough and highly sensitive work all at once, and he puts his whole heart in everything he makes. He does all the artwork for the band he's in (Chase Ambler) and has done art for American Culture and Sauna, and probably more that I'm forgetting.

Learn more about Molly Bounds on her Tumblr.