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Volume 26, Number 5 — May 2018

Arts for Youth Spotlight: Trevor Wentt

Trevor Wentt self-portrait
Trevor Wentt self-portrait
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Wentt combines faith and art

By Leslie Grace | A! Magazine for the Arts | May 27, 2015

Trevor Wentt became interested in photography when he was a junior at King University. "I was convinced by my then professor Chris Stewart to learn photography as a medium because there was no art and design program, and he figured it would be a great outlet for the pent up creativity that I had as well as mixing in my abilities in graphic design."

Trevor's interest in art isn't confined to photography and graphic design. He also writes poetry and is interested in fashion and music.

"I'm a spoken word poet, so that's a lot of fun. I love records. I have a record player in my room, and I just enjoy supporting artists through vinyl and having such a physically large copy of their work. Fashion's a huge interest; I love thrifting for clothing and just putting a great outfit together. If you look good, you feel good."

He says he's interested in photography because "it is such a diverse medium that allows you to engage with people in such a unique way. It's almost like learning the piano; it's been a base for learning the other mediums that interest me." His favorite photographs are portraits. "I love connecting with people to make great work. God's creation in other avenues is great, but humanity is the pinnacle of creation."

His biggest influence is Jesus. "He affects all that I do and my life in general funnels through him. All of my professors at King have been stellar and have had a huge effect, namely Joe Strickland, Chris Stewart, Tammy Mercure, Lee Jones, Brian Freeman, Don Hudson and Paul Warhurst. They have taught me about life, my faith and my art in such meaningful ways.

"Three photographers/videographers stand out to me: Rog Walker, Benj Haisch and Janssen Powers. I've been obsessed with these three artists' work for some time, and it inspired me in a variety of ways. Kendrick Lamar has been a huge influence. He's one of the only artists out right now who still makes complete albums, meaning a piece of work that cohesively works together from start to finish, and I aim for that within my artistry: to make dynamic projects that evolve and coordinate within themselves. Lastly, my family has influenced me greatly. They have always pushed me to do great things, and they live inspiring lives that challenge me as well."

Trevor's work has been displayed in group exhibits at King's campus in Knoxville and in Bristol. He has two solo exhibitions: one displaying work from his mission project in Central Asia and his senior thesis work "Imago." His latest honor is being chosen as a finalist in the 35th annual College and High School Photography Contest held by Photographer's Forum, a magazine for the emerging photography professional.

"The finalist honor has simply been inspiration. Realizing that my work does have what it takes to compete at a national level for recognition just pushes me with the desire to continue perfecting and better understanding my craft. I'm honored and driven. I want my photography, my design, my imagery in general to challenge and change those who interact with it."

Trevor graduated in May. He plans to pursue his Master of Divinity at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, in September. "My aim is to become a pastor, plant a church in an un-churched area in the Western Hemisphere and pastor that church for the rest of my life. It has been the focus since I was a junior in college. I always planned to have imagery and design as a part of my life and a way to engage the culture surrounding me, so I will undoubtedly continue photographing consistently. One of the main reasons I am attending Regent is due to their embedding of art within their degree."

Trevor, 22, is the son of Donna Wentt and is from Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Topics: Photography