Showcasing the Arts


June 2015 Featured Artist: Trent Altman


Trent Altman started painting in 2001 at the age of 24, a year after he began to live in his own home with a live-in assistant and friend. Altman has autism with communications limitations. So when he was given opportunities to explore his strengths and interests — painting became his most enjoyable activity. A University of Louisville art student and good friend, Teresa Adamchik provided art sessions for his enjoyment. After six months Altman began producing some very unique paintings. In 2003 Altman applied and was accepted into the Kentucky Arts Council’s Kentucky Crafted Program.

Video, courtesy of Kentucky Educational Television.
Learn more about KET's program Kentucky Life at

Altman’s painting skills have evolved over the past 13 years. Altman creates his own small universe within a world of chaos and uncertainty. Altman paints expressionistic abstract art using acrylics and very original mixed media on the canvas. Numerous artists who have worked as facilitators in his studio have described his style. They say his work displays an emphasis and commitment to the art making process. Experiencing his work makes that abundantly clear. You can sense a freedom of expression, movement, energy and drive through the multiple methods of applying paint and collage materials. With each piece, he discovers, explores, and ultimately shares layers and avenues of moods and emotions.

Trent Altman painting in public.Altman works diligently, and sometimes very quickly, applying paint with while utilizing scraping tools to create the texture he wants to achieve. He has clear expectations and at times cannot work fast enough to achieve those expectations on the canvas. The viewer senses his uplifting and joyful self-expression through his interpretation of nature.

When weather permits, Trent loves painting outdoors. As he travels to Siesta Key, Fla., several times a year, his inspiration comes from his experiences with nature and his feelings about those experiences. He loves the beach, the ocean and the shore most of all. When he is not able to experience it first hand, he watches videos of Hawaii and the Caribbean islands.

Collectors claim that Altman’s art makes them feel good, sense beauty or reminds them of an uplifting experience they have had. Altman has received several art critiques. Art professor Yvonne Mikulencak wrote, “Altman’s work is strong on the physical texture of paint and objects by conforming them to his world. Indeed a match, as well as a new approach to the combined worlds of artists styles, like the impressionists: Monet’s broken color, Pissarro’s pattern of broken color, and Van Gogh’s impasto. Altman’s images are transformed into patterns of cubism and high analytical cubism of Picasso and Georges Braque, translating the imaginative form of Watteau’s metaphysical world. He has combined what many artists in the past used on a singular basis.”

Altman has won national and international awards. Most notably, in 2012, Altman’s painting, “An Abstract Garden II,” was chosen by the United Nations for a stamp. One million stamps were printed and sold around the world to raise global awareness about autism. Trent was one of two artists with autism chosen from the United States to participate. The 2013 KET documentary on his art-making was nominated for an Emmy. Altman won the Naturally Autistic People Awards Visual Artist Award with competitors from 17 countries. He was chosen as the Ambassador for 2013 International Naturally Autistic People Awards and Festival exhibitions.

Altman has gallery representation in New York; Naples, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Vancouver, British Columbia. Altman has attracted numerous private collectors and has permanent exhibitions in universities, foundations and schools including the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville Autism Center at Kosair Charities, the McCarton Foundation in New York City, and the Beacon School in Los Angeles. He has licensed his art to Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, the Crisis Prevention Institute and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Trent Altman
Jackie Marquette, Business Manager
Louisville, Ky.

Telephone: 502-417-6063


Page last updated: February 14, 2019
Report a broken link.