Kellen Trenal (pronounced like “Chanel”) is a visual artist, performer, small business owner. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Kellen is an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame and a holistic wellness enthusiast. Being both Black American and nimíipuu, Nez Perce, Kellen embraces his multiple identities to empower his work in all its manifestations. He shares his (he)artwork through Trenal Original, a traditional-arts-based, QBIPOC-owned, small business. Kellen is also a co-host of Quantum Theory, a podcast focused on amplifying Black and Indigenous voices.
Each piece is a custom creation aimed at increasing visibility for historically excluded communities: a Trenal Original.
What inspires you?
I find inspiration in so many things. My family history drives me. Popular culture excites me. And dreams of a grand future push me forward. More than anything, playing around with fun materials and riding a creative wave is the most satisfying experience. It’s an honor getting to create fun and meaningful pieces of art.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
I am lucky to be in a community with a bunch of creative folks. Many of my favorite artists are people in my family. There are also a lot of cool artists that I appreciate via internet connections. Beyond that, I adore studying the work of past generations. Having access to study old artwork is such a beautiful teaching tool.
Some of Kellen’s works: