Kole Trent’s BackSideArt Gallery Brings Nature to Life in Vivid Colors

Marine life is a common theme among local artists, but one young newcomer to the scene is making quite a splash in Cocoa Beach with his splendid interpretations of nature. Focusing on land and sea, Kole Trent has already made a name for himself due to his visually stunning work.

Featuring vivid hues reminiscent of Wyland, whom he readily admits is an influence, Kole’s art has become so sought-after that the 22-year-old was able to open his own walk-in gallery two years ago. Formerly called BackSideArt, it’s now known as Trent Art Gallery, and it’s a must-see for art lovers who enjoy bold displays of color and nature.

Kole first began exhibiting a creative knack in high school that started with sketching and art class, leading his mother to gift him with an acrylic paint set at the age of 18. That’s when he started painting on canvas, but it was his surfboard murals using Boardstix paint pens that gave him his initial exposure.

After that, he started doing small shows, which motivated him to dig deeper into his artistic side and explore his options. With his mother’s encouragement and the support of his family, he dove wholeheartedly into the journey of getting his career off the ground.

And it’s truly a family affair, with all members taking part and his brother stepping into the role of operations manager. Art, however, was not Kole’s first notion for a career. He had originally planned on being a nurse before pursuing art. His parents gave him four years to sort himself out and see if he couldn’t make a go of it.

Fast forward to present day, four years later, and he beat that deadline for success by two full years. Besides owning his own gallery, Kole recently joined the art co-op Studios of Cocoa Beach, where he began showing his work in July of this year.

When asked about inspiration, Kole shared that the tangible aspects understandably stem from beach life. The artists who influenced him, however, are Robert Wyland, as mentioned, and Michael Godard, “rockstar of the art world.”

Prompted for a description of his work, he quickly says, “It’s not realism. It’s natural and varied and has to do with love of life, the beauty of life.”

Much of that beauty is represented in marine life, and it’s actually his rendering of sea turtles that he feels gave him the credibility initially to allow the rest of his work to be considered and recognized for what it is.

The talented Floridian recently started a new self-expression series that has become very popular, allowing him to do his own thing rather than commercially profitable pieces, which can be soul-crushing as an artist. Instead, he points out, “It got me back to why I was drawn to art in the first place.”

If you’re interested in viewing Kole’s pieces or enrolling in an art class, you can find the gallery at 17 N. Atlantic Ave. in Cocoa Beach, or contact him at 321.243.6589.