West End Tap House on Tennyson Street Home to a New Mural
It’s about 8pm on Monday evening and local artist, Tom Bond, has just completed another long day of painting on a new mural at West End Tap on Tennyson.
“I’ve spent three whole days so far, anywhere from about 10 to 14 hour days,” Bond said.
Woody Creek distillery sponsored the now completed mural in collaboration with Birdseed Collective, Alto Gallery and Lorenzo Talcott an Alto Gallery affiliate. For their part, the distillery, wanted the artwork to be painted where it would be on display for those who enjoy their products. They asked only a creative nod to their branding. Otherwise, they gave complete creative freedom to Bond. To help him get a feel for their brand, Woody Creek Distillery invited Bond up to their base of operations located in Basalt, CO.
“We did a day tour in their facility up in Basalt and took pictures of things incorporated in their brand,” Bond explained.
These elements are evident with things like distilling stills, potato plants and representations of rye. All are woven into an intricate geometric design that is 100 percent Bond’s brain child and style. Woody Creek grows the potatoes they use for their vodka, among other things.
“It’s totally my design, I just have to slip their logo into it kind of,” he said.
What that style is, according to Bond, depends on the type of work he is creating. He graduated with a degree in Fine Art in 2007. This is usually his arena of focus though artistically speaking, he is a jack of all trades. From fine art to murals, graphic design to carpentry and even installation work.
“I have a hard time doing the same thing everyday so I do a lot of different things, but they all inform each other,” Bond said.
Elements of Bond’s style are precise geometric lines, angles and shapes. He builds each piece in a specific layered order. Bond maintains abstract impression and imagery that is a throwback to Western themes and working-class americano. Right now his biggest artistic influence is early american modernist, Stuart Davis. He had the pleasure of visiting a retrospective of the artist’s work at The Whitney last year.
“The Western elements come from living here. It also comes from leaving here and living other places and gaining respect for an aesthetic I didn’t even realize I grew up with,” he elaborated.
He lived in London for a period of time and travelled around Europe. More recently he lived in New York and helped create a studio of artists and punk musicians in Bushwood. “I met cool, interesting, inspiring people constantly and everyone is also something on the side. I found my people.” Bond stated.
Bond brought those experiences with him to Colorado where he continues in his artistic career. A path that is completely integral to his core. He admits he is sometimes overwhelmed by how society functions. A feeling that is relatable to many people.
“It’s important for me to do it (make art) because I don’t know how to function otherwise,” Bond said “It’s a license to do something different everyday and making anything gives me a measure of control.”
In a larger sense, Bond believes the existence of art in the world in every form is of paramount importance, so that “everyone can say they’re inspired by something. Because as a background to the whole world— design is everything.”
This is in direct correlation to mission of Birdseed Collective, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to educating and enabling the disadvantaged and the under-resourced in the Denver Metropolitan. According to their website the organization nurtures mind, body, and soul. Their goal is to transform the lives of artists, youth, individuals, and communities through visionary art and civic projects and programs.
For more information about Birdseed Collective visit www.birdseed.org
To check out more of Tom Bond’s work check him out on Instagram @Wellingtonprojects or meet him and see his work in person at his upcoming exhibition! Details below.
Show Title: Food and Lodging for Travelers
Location: Alto Gallery, 4345 W.41st. Ave. Denver, CO 80212