Trent Call | Buzz Blog

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Trent Call

Posted By on February 4, 2009, 12:35 PM

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Sitting inside one of Utah's greatest kept art secrets, hidden in an industrial area going to rot on the edge of downtown SLC, you'll find one of Utah's most proclaimed artists hard at work.

--- Trent Call has been one of the busiest and most recognizable artists in the entire state. Publishing zines and books, contributing to giant art projects, making brilliantly designed yet simplistic paintings, characters you see everywhere from billboards to stickers, spraypainted works, media covers for albums and publications, and much more that I couldn't even begin to catalog. I got a chance to walk the halls of Captain Captain Studios taking pictures Trent's work, and chat with the man himself about his career and thoughts on the local art scene.

Trent Call

Gavin: Hey Trent! First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Trent: Born and raised in Salt Lake City. I like riding my bike and drawing pictures. I recently got Netflix, I've been digging on that.

Gavin: What first got you interested in art, and what were some of your early inspirations?

Trent: I've always drawn pictures. just like every young kid. Early inspirations, skateboard graphics. Thrasher Magazine. Skateboarding in general. Comic and cartoons.

Gavin: You got your BFA from the University Of Utah. What were the art programs like up there, and what was the total experience like for you?

Trent: I took a lot of figure drawing classes, triangulation and blind contour help shape me. I learned how to draw up there. I loved the print department, I miss it sometimes.

Gavin: You don't limit yourself to any one specific type of art, or medium for that matter. Do you find it difficult switching between, or do you think of more as a challenge?

Trent: I never understood the idea of an artist sticking to one medium, different ideas and projects call for different mediums, different tools.

Gavin: What were some of your first exhibitions like?

Trent: One of my very first shows, was at Cup Of Joe down on Second South... I would show at Kilby Court a lot back when they had art shows. The Kilby gallery shows would always have a jazz bands, poets, plays, and the like. I did some of the posters for those shows as well, that was around 2000-01 or so.  You can find them here, third and fourth up from the bottom left.

Gavin: You take part in a lot of group exhibitions but very few solo ones. Do you prefer it, or just dislike the idea of a solo show?

Trent: I'm very much into solo shows, They are hard to come by or line up. My most recent show, was kinda solo, at the downtown library, it just came down. It allowed me to paint larger paintings. Group shows seem to happen more often.

Gavin: One of the biggest ones you were a part of was the 337 Project. How did you get involved with that, and what was your time like working on it?

Trent: Adam Price got ahold of me via Leia Bell I think, or Lewis Francis. I met Adam and Dessi at the studio and told me of their idea and how they were just out in NYC, and walked though 11 Spring St. I said kids would be down big time for it, it would be the biggest deal of the year. The time working on it was a blast, I always thought of it as taking a break from the studio... Drinking beer, hang out, watch it happen, meet new people.. a big ol' positive collaborative spirit... Everyone came together on it!!

Gavin: What did you think of the final destruction and the projects that have spawned off the idea?

Trent: Final destruction was awesome! The conclusion to the project... I made a little stop motion of it.  What Adam has done sense, is what none of us artists ever do or don't do.. He took the project and ran, hooking up grants, starting new smaller projects, with funding! He is making it happen.

Gavin: What brought on the idea of doing Swinj?

Trent: It was my friend Nick Bottman's idea.. He came to high school one day with the first cover. (Then spelled with the proper spelling, 'Swinge'). Nick moved up to Portland that summer and I continued the project and put it together... The idea of putting out a publication making your own zine... just blew my mind at the time, still does. Here you can click through all the pages of past issues.

Gavin: What was it like for you putting that first issue together, and what was the public reaction to it when you put it out?

Trent: Well, the only people who really saw the first few issues were my friends, it wasn't all that public. I think I sold like two copies at the Heavy Metal Shop... so that's as public as it got. The first issue was the learning issue, cut and paste. Learn how to lay out the pages, print out on the xerox machine, learning how to get copy hookups.

Gavin: You have ten books published so far. Can we expect the next issue anytime soon, or have you put that idea to rest?

Trent: Zines/books, many may not fit the book category. I do currently have three new zines in the works, all at this time moving a bit slow. A collaboration issue, a comic, and another Drawsquare. I hope to never put it to rest.

Gavin: Where did the idea for the Swinj-O-Matic come from, and what kind of shops can people find those at?

Trent: The idea of having a machine the vends art/stickers or whatever as been with me for some time. I bought them on a whim, just try it out. Something new. I found some machines online and bought two. a bit later two more. The biggest challenge on the vending machines is keeping them fresh with new stuff. You can find them at Frosty Darling, Nobrow Coffee, Blue Plate Dinner, and SLUG Magazine, (but don't tell Ken that).

Gavin: How did the idea for Captain Captain Studios come about?

Trent: Our last studio, Poor Yorick was shut down, a lot of us did not want to leave the neighborhood. A fellow artist and friend owned this building, and he turned it into studios for us. Captain Captain, is a studio of artists, each artist in their own realm and specification and style, but united together helping one another out. a gigantic force that we have yet to release. We kill it. Working every day, and helping each other out. Learning from each other. Playing ping pong.

Gavin: For those who may not know, who are some of the artists who share the space inside?

Trent: Lance Clayton, Trent Alvey, Patrick Munger / LOS, Gailon Justus, Ben Wiemeyer, Sri Whipple, Tom Mulder R.I.P, myself, Steve Larson, Cein Watson, James Randle, Chase Leslie, Tessa Lindsey and Berkley Frei.

Gavin: Are there any major plans in the works for the studio itself or just keeping to business as usual?

Trent: For the most part, business as usual. Just gonna keep it movin'... make it happen. And in the spring a for sure Open Studio.

Gavin: A little state-wide, what are your thoughts on our local art scene, both good and bad?

Trent: Folks that run the shops and galleries make the scene turn. People that attend and support those shops make it flow. We have a lot of killer artists here, an undiscovered gem. Arts all good, no bad.

Gavin: Anything you believe could be done to make it bigger or better?

Trent: Try harder, work harder. Make it before you talk about it. Believe in the city. Let artists take over Main St.

Gavin: What are your thoughts on Gallery Stroll and how its evolved over the years?

Trent: Its a grand ol' social evening, with art on the walls. I think the biggest evolution is that Broadway has opened up like wild fire. Taking over Artspace's heat. Lots of new awesome artists, and artist run shops.

Gavin: How about your take on the Utah Arts Festival and how its changed?

Trent: I love it, fabulous people watching, sun, sweat, beer, and paint. It's a spectacle. and I'll have a booth this year!

Gavin: Who are some local artists whose work has caught your eye recently?

Trent: Sunny Belliston and Edward Mikenna.

Gavin: What can we expect from you the rest of the year?

Trent: Lots of paintings, t-shirts, and zines, I believe I'll be having a show with Dan Christopherson at the Kayo soon.

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?

Trent: Rico Burrito Cafe, Vile Blue Shades, and LOS!


On Topic...

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