Traci Molloy is an artist, collaborator, and social activist who creates figurative works of art on paper (primarily headshots) utilizing printmaking, drawing, painting, photography, and digital processes. The pieces are actualized in large, conceptually related series. Her artwork explores themes of adolescent culture and identity (in relation to race, class, and gender). She is particularly curious about how humans process trauma and grief, what occurs emotionally during the aftermath of violence, and our society’s ability to re-contextualize history in order to mask painful racial truths and nullify collective loss. As evidenced by the continued spate of brutality in this country, there are still two Americas, a nation divided by its past, by race, by class, by violence, and by gender. Though the content of Molloy’s work is often difficult, the finished pieces are celebratory, acknowledging the resiliency and strength of the youth depicted.
Along with her independent art, Molloy creates large-scale public collaborations with traumatized adolescents and young adults. She has worked with youth from extreme circumstances, be they underserved teenagers from Appalachia or the Bronx, sexual assault survivors, children that lost a parent on 9/11/01, or adolescents displaced from their home countries due to war or genocide. The public installations have helped make visible the invisible, provide voice to the disenfranchised, and allowed the respective communities exhibiting the work deeper insight into their young citizens’ hopes and fears.
All of her work is geared towards bridging socio-economic gaps caused by poverty and racism. Molloy uses art as a means to educate, question, and provoke. Her goal is to shine a light on gritty issues and look at how violence/trauma impacts our lives, while pushing the boundaries on collaboration, education, and activism. If you are complacent, you are complicit.