UMKC art students Noah Kellough and Madelyn Stewart spent the last few months putting together a self-published magazine about Stewart’s dog, Molecules.
The finished product, “Molecules’ activity book for a very good boy”, was on sale in Pierson Auditorium last weekend at Kansas City’s fourth annual Zine Con.
“Zine Con is cool because it gives you the chance to make something fun and put yourself out there,” said Stewart. “I wanted to make something about my dog because he has so much personality. He’s just really goofy.”
Like Stewart and Kellough, who filled their table with copies of Molecules’ activity book, art prints and an assortment of homemade buttons, hundreds of other Kansas City artists took inspiration from their lives when crafting the personalized, one-of-a-kind creations on display Saturday.
“I’ve seen so many crazy, awesome things from other people,” said Kellough.
It’s fitting that UMKC hosted this year’s event. The school is home to an impressive collection of over 3,000 zines, some dating as far back as 1976.
Each year, Zine Con gives the school a chance to expand its collection. Lindsey Schettler, head of special collections at UMKC, collected dozens of zines over the weekend.
“We’ve been taking donations to preserve these works long term,” said Schettler. “They’ll be available to the public, and also to faculty and students to use in their research.”
PhD student Dillon Henry worked the event alongside Schettler, collecting zines and spreading the word about UMKC’s collection.
“Preservation isn’t just about the past,” said Henry. “It’s also about what is happening now. Forty or fifty years from now people will be able to look at these zines and get a snap shot of this moment in time.”
Schettler and Henry are both drawn to the unfiltered, uncensored nature of these do-it-yourself publications.
“Zines give a voice for people who might feel marginalized in traditional spaces to come and share their work,” said Henry.
To find out more about UMKC’s zine collection, check out the LaBudde Special Collections on the third floor of the Miller Nichols Library or go to www.library2.umkc.edu/labudde. Check out Stewart and Kollough’s artwork on Instagram @nomadsfineart.