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MCA’s Art Mart Hosts Up-And-Coming Local Artists

GRAND BAAZAR LIKE- VENUE FOR VENDORS

When walking up the industrial ramp to the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver entrance on Sept. 10, there were no lines; the space appeared quiet and uninhabited.

After making the way down the steps to the first floor, the atmosphere immediately changed. Tables of local artists were set up and onlookers gazed into an assortment of photo books and zines. A DJ set up in the background created chillwave beats to set the mood for a unique shopping experience.

It was on this day that the local artisan market called Art Mart debuted in the basement of the fiercely creative MCA Denver. Molly Bounds, whose work is currently installed on the first floor of the museum, curated the market for local artists to sell their goods in a renowned venue. Art Mart welcomed patrons of every background and allowed for local artists to represent themselves and their work.

At one table, local artist Kit Ramsey had her photographs and zines printed out and available for purchase. The photographs explored pornography and the process of taking on a taboo subject. At the same table was the artist Maria, who was selling journals, photos, and zines with a photograph of a wolf’s teeth. The proceeds from her sales went to Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary.

Around the corner from her was artist Alexander Romero, who was selling prints of his drawings. “My artwork explores about the psychological effects that technology has on us,” Romero said. His artwork showed the mind’s reaction to receiving text messages and getting notifications on a smartphone. “It’s a double standard, in the way that the internet is important but also ruining social habits.”

Another local artist, Matt Plain, provided a unique table that grabbed any passerby’s attention. He sold a hand-drawn comic book that was bound together with a laminate front. Hanging from the ceiling was a handmade floral pastel pillow that looked right out of a modern 1980s living room. Plain’s artwork was bold and added a sophisticated touch to a youthful and fun medium like comics.

Molly Bound is slightly more recognizable than the other artists, as her work is actually currently installed in the MCA. Her level of admiration is increased by her support and advocacy of local Denver artists who may not have the reputation she has cultivated. “Molly just asked me to come to this ‘Art Mart’ thing and it was pretty cool, so I said okay,” Romero said. Bounds wanted to get younger artists with exponential talent involved in the MCA Art Mart event. 

Surveying the scene, one would notice the diversity in artwork. Having so many young artists in their early 20s explaining the thought processes behind their work was truly awe-inspiring. These 20-something Denver residents allowed for creativity to flow through their veins and out of their fingertips into the development of zines, comics, drawings, photographs. Whatever form it took, the artwork spoke for itself.

Photo: Ashley Bauler

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