SLC native Evan Memmott got his start in the painting and drawing program at the University of Utah, but quickly realized that his cartoonish style wasn’t going to fly in the more traditional art program. After a couple of printmaking classes, Memmott realized he had found a program far more suited to his style. “In painting and drawing they want to teach you how to paint and draw this certain way, whereas in printmaking there is an emphasis on how to print correctly, but the printmaking is up to you,” says Memmott. After spending late nights with his fellow students (you can’t print at home without the equipment) he began to appreciate the communal aspect as well as the stylistic freedom. Memmott made some pivotal friends through the program and arranged a show for himself at Copper Palate Press last summer. He sold nearly every print he showed—even managing to sell a few prints to Copper Palate figurehead Cameron Bentley. His successful show allowed him to become associated with the printmaking group, and despite not being a live-in member, Memmott has supported the group by organizing/completing projects and helping provide supplies.
A first time Craft Lake City artist, Memmott’s work is on the pop art end of the spectrum and heavy on appropriation—think sci-fi/comic book nerd Andy Warhol. Memmott’s cartoon-like style of printmaking should make for an interesting and affordable booth with buttons for $1 and prints for around $35. “I’m not going to try and sell for a whole bunch to some kid my age who can’t afford it,” says Memmott.
All of Memmott’s ideas start out in pen and pencil before making their way to a digital form and finally a carved press and printed form. The subject matter ranges from sci-fi stuff (including pretty sweet Star Trek: DSN Quark and Star Trek: TNG Worf masks) to his Utah history inspired work. Growing up in the Beehive state, Memmott draws much of his inspiration from the Deseret culture, with many of his prints featuring the notorious Mormon figure Brigham Young, whom Memmott cites as his most drawn subject. With a deep love for his home state and its small—but fierce—art scene, Memmott plans on continuing to watch and help Salt Lake City flourish artistically.