Post Office Box 327 • Bethania, NC 27010-0327 •

Link to this original painting.

"...surreal and yet real" New York Times 1985

Each painting tells a story. Trena’s work reveals its deeper meaning through a connected series
of smaller paintings, each a tale in itself.
Images overlap in a kaleidoscope of colors depicting the flora, fauna, foods and landscapes that comprise our precious earth, utilizing the vivid acrylic-on-canvas pieces described by one reviewer as transparent painted collages. As the viewer approaches the painting, more and more details come into focus. This technique has been used in many large-scale paintings for public spaces.

This curious and elegant synthesis of realism and imagination in Trena’s art reflects her interest in nature and the environment. Real world visuals come alive through her use of “windows” created by the overlapping images, adding a many layers to the story which becomes deeper the longer one studies the work.

Trena’s unique blending of science, realism and fantasy creates original art where vibrant color and stark white paint compete, contrast and ultimately dance together in breathtaking harmony. She paints large site-specific and small-scale paintings of allegorical scenes, uniting the stylized shapes with her own harmonious concept of beauty. These compositions are typical of Trena’s distinctive style in that it is a multi-layered montage of brightly lighted, realistically rendered, thematically related scenes and images.

Trena’s prior work ranges from 32-foot long multi-canvas, site-specific corporate or public art commissions to small, elegant pieces for private residences. Clients throughout the US, Europe and Asia have seen their goals, themes and histories successfully captured and expressed by artist Trena McNabb. Whether she is telling a captivating story or documenting the growth of an industry, Trena’s unique style of transparent overlapping images and montages of brilliant color, inspires collectors.

“It was certainly a pleasure to work with you in the Nature Art Gallery! Many of our visitors and employees have commented how beautiful and colorful your pieces are. I was surprised as well during the time we were unwrapping them. The photos of the pieces, in my opinion, do not do the finished canvas justice. The detail and colors seem to be lost in a photograph. I wanted to let you know how much more gorgeous the pieces are in person as opposed to the photographs. Thank you for your time and great talent!”
Brad Thompson, Curator; NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC


T.W. Garner Food Co. Maker of Texas Pete©; Companion piece to previous commission, featuring "the next generation of a family-owned business" (Winston-Salem, NC) 20" x 70"; 2024 on-going

Piedmont Land Conservancy; 2 exterior, wildflower panels for the Emily Allen Wildflower Garden: 30” circle & 36” x 48” oval - Acrylic on Aluminum/Powder Coated - Soluvar Varnish; Winston-Salem, NC 2022

Red Oak Brewery; 3 locations: Hummingbirds of North America 30" x 48" Office; Mother Earth Hummingbirds of North America 24" x 36" Lager Haus; Bavaria 28" x 120" WurstHaus; Whitsett, NC 2021

Wake Forest Baptist, Birthing Center; 3 panels, each 36”x30”, 2” apart; Plus 4 other paintings; Winston-Salem, NC; 2019

† ‡ Dayton Children’s Hospital; High resolution photo prints; click here to see images (23”x46”) (30”x51”); Dayton, Ohio

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital; 2 paintings for treatment rooms (19” x 120” & 19” x 145”) Palo Alto, CA; 2019

† ‡ Wake Forest Baptist Health, Printed installation honoring Abdominal Transplant Donors; Winston-Salem, NC; 2019

† Clean Air Carolina (Charlotte, Chapel Hill, NC) Landscape painting for large-scale photo print and note cards; 2017-2012

Red Oak Brewery (Whitsett, NC) Painting of all North American Hummingbirds; 24” x 36”; 2015

Salemtown Retirement Community (Winston-Salem, NC) Painting/focal point for a renovation; 24" x 48"; 2015

Arbor Acres Methodist Retirement Home 2 (Winston-Salem, NC) Painting to commemorate their employees; 48" x 72"; 2014

Wake Forest Medical Center (Winston-Salem, NC) Paintings for the Davie County and Cancer Center location; 2013

*‡ Carolinas Healthcare System (Charlotte, NC) Series of paintings that connect to tell a story. Six 30" squares and seven 15" equilateral triangles; Total size: 30" x 375" x 2"; 2008

American Bladesmith Society (USA) Portrait of Bill Moran, founder of the organization – for display at the Historic Arkansas Museum, Little Rock, AK. Size 36” x 36” hung as a diamond; 2006

Richard Childress (Welcome, NC) Portrait depicting his interests in NASCAR racing, wine-making, nature, wildlife and his family. Total size 72" x 30"; 2006

University of North Carolina; Eddie Smith Field House (Chapel Hill, NC) Olympic Runner for the Hall of Fame, size 30" x 24"; 2006

Arbor Acres Methodist Retirement Home (Winston-Salem, NC) Painting to commemorate the 25th anniversary; three canvas panels, total size 36" x 96"; 2005

Forsyth Technical Community College (Winston-Salem, NC) The Homeless Man purchased for the new addition to the college in 2005

Emerson et Cíe (High Point, NC) Painting used for invitation, ltd. poster and promotional purposes for the Furniture Market; total size: 40" x 30"; 2001

Glencoe/McGraw-Hill Publishing (Columbus, OH) Lobby; Eighteen canvas panels, total size: 77" x 173" x 2"; 2001

Museum of York County (Rock Hill, SC) Portrait of James Harold Jennings; purchased for the museum's permanent collection; 2000

Hahnemann University Hospital (Philadelphia, PA) Lobby; Nine canvas panels, total size: 48" x 228" x 2"; 2000

*† Wingate Hotel/Winston-Salem Parking Deck (Winston-Salem, NC) Art Treatment of 4 story parking deck. Utilizing printed vinyl, laminated to PVC and applied to the exterior of the deck; fifteen square 6.5 ft. panels; and three 27 ft. x 2 ft. panels; 2000

Old Salem, Inc. (Winston-Salem, NC) Painting 30" x 40" used as poster, puzzle and note cards; 1999

*‡ Lopez Nursing Home; (Land O'Lakes, FL) Veterans' Administration, Art in State Building Program; Seven equilateral triangles, each 45"; total size 39" x 184" x 2"; 1999

Syngenta; (Greensboro, NC) Five 36" square canvas panels; total size 48" x 192"; 1998

Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development; (Alexandria, VA) Seven equilateral triangles, each 60"; total size 51" x 264" x 2"; 1998

* The Wallace H. Kuralt Centre; Mecklenburg Department of Social Services (Charlotte, NC) Four plexiglass panels, 20" x 60" each, ‡suspended from the ceiling and three canvas panels, total size: 45" x 109" x 2.5"; 1998

* The Park and Recreation Administrative Office Building (Charlotte, NC) Eleven 36" squares, 3-dimensional elements and "balls" of various sizes; 1998

Banner Pharmacaps, Inc. (High Point, NC) Five equilateral triangles, each 47"; total size 41" x 150" x 2"; 1997

Kunming Cigarette Factory (Yunnan Province, China) Two square canvas panels, each 48" and one 48" circle of Plexiglass; total size: 48" x 98"; 1996

Christ Hospital; Children's Pavilion (Oaklawn, IL) 30" x 48"; 1996

Philip Morris (Concord, NC) 36" x 72"; 1995

‡ St. James Hospital (Chicago, IL) Three canvas panels, one @ 18" x 60", two @ 38" hung in the shape of a cross, total size of 60" x 94"; 1995

PDS Engineering (Dallas, Texas) 36" x 72" and 18" x 132"; 1995.

Japan Tobacco, Inc. (Tokyo, Japan) 36" x 36" x 2; 1995

‡ Kaiser Permanente Hospital (Hollywood, CA) Two feature areas; each area with two canvas and one Plexiglass square (hung as diamond shape) interlocking together for a total size of 51" x 104" x 4" ea; 1995

KinderCare Childcare Center (Montgomery, AL) Five canvas paintings; three 30" x 40", two 30" x 48"; paintings reproduced as limited edition prints for use in their daycare centers nationwide; 1994

PNC Mortgage (Chicago, IL) Three canvas paintings each 48" x 36"; 1994

Fannie Mae Mortgage (Chicago, IL) Ten panels, total size of the assemblage is 48" x 285"; 1994

Sara Lee Corporation; Hanes Hosiery Division (Winston-Salem, NC) Painting 30" x 24" for their sponsorship of the 1996 Summer Olympics, poster 24" x 36" and photo/mural wall at trade show, 96" x 144"; 1993

Truliant Federal Credit Union (Winston-Salem, NC) Three locations. Behind the Teller Counter: 6 panels, total size of the assemblage is 48" x 204" x 2" - Lobby, main wall: Five panels, total size is 185" x 144" x 2" - Board of Directors Room: 36" x 48"; 1993

*‡ Cleveland Memorial Hospital (Shelby, NC) Six canvas panels, each 24" x 60"; total size 84" x 159"; 1993

Knight Foundation (Miami, FL) Two canvas panels, each 24" x 24" and one Plexiglass panel the same size, hung as diamond; total size 36" x 54" x 6"; 1993

Midcon Corporation (Lombard, IL) Three panels, each 24" x 72"; total size 48" x 144" x 2"; 1992

T.W. Garner Food Co. Maker of Texas Pete© (Winston-Salem, NC) 20" x 70"; 1992

† Lt. Governor Jim Gardner (Raleigh, NC) Painting reproduced as Christmas card, ltd. print, and poster; 1989

Reynolds Tobacco Co. (Tobaccoville, NC) Seven panels, each 36" square, three of which were plexiglass; total size 51" x 228" x 6"; 1986

Focke and Co. (West Germany) Three panels, each 24" x 108"; total size 76" x 108" x 2"; 1986

A.H. Robins Co. - ChapStick (Richmond, VA) Painting 30" x 24"; used to commemorate their sponsorship of the 1984 Winter Olympics, Poster and Limited Edition Prints; 1983

* Public Art Commission
‡ Hospital/Health
† Printing Commission


Griffith Fine Art Museum; at Red Oak Brewery; Permanent Collection; 6905 Konica Dr; Whitsett, NC

Museum of Life and Science; Juried show; Durham; 2023

Waterworks Visual Arts Center; Solo Museum Show 2011; Identity, Stories, Connections; Salisbury, NC; 2022-2023

Piedmont International Airport; NC Personalities-Portraits; Greensboro, NC; 2017-2023

Solo Show, Gallery C; Raleigh, NC 27604; 2018

Solo Show, Steele Group Architects; Winston-Salem, NC 2017

Inspiration from Nature;
Group show, Davis Gallery; Sawtooth School of Visual Art; Winston-Salem, NC 2015 - 2022

Winter Show;
Greenhill Center for NC Art; 2016

The Art of NC Native Plants;
Blowing Rock Art & History Museum; Group Show; Creator, co-curator & participant; Sponsor NC Native Plant Society; Blowing Rock, NC 2016

Transparent-Overlapping Images of Nature; NC Museum of Natural Sciences; Solo Show, Nature Art Gallery; Raleigh, NC; 2015

Inspiration from Nature; Group show, Davis Gallery; Sawtooth School of Visual Art; Winston- Salem, NC 2015

Overlapping Images of Nature; Solo Show, NC Botanical Garden, DeBerry Gallery; Chapel Hill, NC; 2014

Art Comes Alive
; International Juried event; Cincinnati, OH; 2013

NC Museum of Art; Art of the Auction; Juried fund-raiser; Raleigh, NC; 2011, 2012 and 2013

NC Museum of Natural Sciences; Nature Art Gallery; Raleigh, NC; 2011

Sacred Space for the City, Exhibition and Conference; The Servant Leadership School, Greensboro, NC; 2012

Waterworks Visual Arts Center; Solo Show; Transparent Imagery; Salisbury, NC; 2011

Davidson County Community College; Group Show; Lexington, NC; 2011

Carolina's Got Art! juried exhibit, artists of North and South Carolina; The historic Atherton Mill; Charlotte, NC; 2009, 2010

Dimensions Competition; AAWS Gallery, Sawtooth Building; Winston-Salem, NC; 2004, 2005, 2009 & 2010

Cultural Crossroads 2009 Exhibition; Associated Artists Gallery, Musician; Winston-Salem, NC 2009

Arts Council of York County; 20th Annual Juried Competition Exhibition, Honorable Mention, Mother Earth - Happenstance; Rock Hill, SC; 2009

Arts & Culture Alliance; Art at the Airport, Migrant Worker's Family & Cafeteria Manager; Knoxville, TN; 2009

NC Artists Exhibition; Raleigh Fine Arts & NC Museum of Art; Raleigh, NC; 2009 & 2010

5ive & 40rty, for Reynolda House, Museum of American Art, Seeing Winston-Salem, Contemporary Artists View the City; Winston-Salem, NC 2008

Chapel Hill Public Arts Invitational; Town Hall; Unique Portraits; Chapel Hill, NC; 2007

Solo Exhibition; Sechrest Gallery at High Point University; High Point, NC; 2005

State of the Art in NC - Juried Exhibit; Milton Rhodes & AAWS Galleries; Portraits of Cafeteria Manager & Ballet Dancer; Winston-Salem, NC ; 2004

Solo Exhibition; Theatre Art Galleries, Inc.; Diverse Portraits; High Point, NC; 2004

Highlands Visual Arts Center; Bascom Louise Gallery; Honorable Mention; Portrait of Blacksmith; Highlands, NC; 2003

Avampato Discovery Museum; Appalachian Corridors Competition; Portrait of First Grade School Teacher; Charleston, WV; 2003

Exhibition Award; Durham Art Guild, Inc.; Diverse Portraits; Durham, NC; 2003

Solo Exhibition; Grace Wang Gallery; Diverse Portraits; Raleigh, NC 2003

Group Exhibition; Fayetteville Museum of Art; The Best Artists of Winston-Salem; Fayetteville, NC 2003

Two-Person Exhibition; Salem College; Diverse Portraits; Winston-Salem, NC; 2002

20th Annual Juried Show; W. H. Moring, Jr. Arts Center; Honorable Mention; The Blacksmith; Asheboro, NC; 2002

Solo Exhibition; Whistling Women's Community Center; Diverse Portraits; Winston-Salem, NC; 2002

Best in Show & Merit Award; Green Hill Center for NC Art; 8th Annual Artists Hang-Up; Portraits of Art Collector and Blacksmith; Greensboro, NC; 2002

Solo Exhibition; Stokes County Arts Council; Diverse Portraits; Danbury, NC; 2001

Solo Exhibition; Urban Artware; Diverse Portraits; Winston-Salem, NC; 2001

29th Annual Competition for NC Artists; Fayetteville Museum of Art, Portrait of The Art Collector; Fayetteville, NC; 2001

Realism 2001; Cultural Center of Fine Arts, Portraits of Migrant Worker's Family and Blacksmith; Parkersburg, WV; 2001

17th Annual Woman's Center Show; University of NC, Juror's Choice Award; Homeless Man; Chapel Hill, NC; 2001

Arts Council of Winston-Salem; Invitational Exhibition; Local Artist's Perspectives of Winston-Salem, NC; 2000

Office of the Mayor of Winston-Salem, NC; Diverse Portraits; 2000

Biennial 2000; Museum of York County; Portrait The Folk Artist; Purchased for the museum's permanent collection; Rock Hill, SC; 2000

Davidson County Community College; Group Show; Lexington, NC; 2000

Worrell Professional Center at Wake Forest University; Group Show; Winston-Salem, NC; 2000; Juried site and hard backed book, described as "The Source of the Finest Artists and Their Work"; Madison, WI; (current)

Hoyt Institute of Fine Art; Solo Show; New Castle, PA; 1997

Diptychs & Triptychs Invitational; Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County; 1997

10th Annual Woman's Center Show; University of NC, Chapel Hill, NC; 2002; 2000, 1996

Theatre Art Galleries; Solo Show; High Point, NC; 1990


US-Air In-flight Magazine; Blowing Rock Feature; June 2013

Winston-Salem Magazine; Artist in Residence/Feature; April Issue; 2011

WFDD Public Radio; Series of interviews about the events and inspiration for "Blurring Racial Barriers"; Forsyth County; Throughout 2005 & 2006

Latitudes Magazine (4 Cover articles about the events and exhibitions for "Blurring Racial Barriers"); Forsyth County; Throughout 2006

The Herald-Sun (The Delicate Art of Portraits by Blue Greenberg); Durham, NC; March 9, 2003

ArtView (Cover article about Diverse Portraits and art community involvement); Fall issue, 2001, 2005

Furniture Today (April 9th issue, 2001 - feature article about painting for Emerson, et Cíe Furniture Manufacturing Company and their use of it for the upcoming Furniture Market)

Domicile (May issue, 2000 - cover/feature artist; January issue, 2001 article by the artist and cover featuring a Portrait of an Art Collector; September issue, 2001 article by the artist and cover featuring a Portrait of a Blacksmith); Winston-Salem, NC

The Winston-Salem Journal (Profile by Tom Patterson, Ken Keuffel and other articles); Winston-Salem, NC; 1985 - 2006

Public ART Review; Fall/Winter Volume 2; Issue 21 (Recent Projects); 1999

Business Life (Profile); Greensboro, NC; 1998

High Lights (Cover and feature artist January & June); High Point, NC; 1998

The Guild: Architect's Source of Artists and Artisans; Madison, WI; 1992 - 2006

Burridge Index; (Featuring distinctive architectural art); Carpinteria, CA; 1996

The Triad Style (feature article on artist studios); Winston-Salem, NC; 1994

Artists of the Carolinas (featured artist of NC); Albuquerque, NM; 1990

PACE Magazine (feature artist of the month); Greensboro, NC; 1982


a/perture cinema, non-profit art house cinema; Featured 4 paintings on screen during the month of August 2023

ArtPop Street Gallery; Painting reproduction rotating for one year on 8 billboards in 12 counties. Choosen by Lamar Outdoor, ArtPop Street Gallery and Winston-Salem/Forsyth Arts Council. 2019-2020

Clean Air Carolina; Charlotte & Chapel Hill, NC; Paintings copyright donated for reproductions as wall prints and 3 other paintings as note cards; 2016

Creator, Co-curator & Participant; The Art of NC Native Plants; Blowing Rock Art & History Museum; Group Show; Sponsor NC Native Plant Society; Blowing Rock, NC 2016

Guest Speaker; NC Extension Master Gardener Conference; Meadow Making; 2014

Guest Speaker; Rockingham Naturalist Club; Wentworth, NC; Art and the Meadow, 2013

Guest Speaker; Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University; Meadow-Making, 2010 and The Art of Pressing Plants, 2013

Guest Speaker; Statesville Art League; Title: “Overlapping Images”; Statesville, NC April 2007

Guest Speaker; Muddy River Art Association; Title: “Overlapping Images”; Clemmons, NC February 2007

Associated Artists of Winston-Salem (AAWS) Education Committee; 2004-2005; Exhibits Committee 2010- 2013

Crossing 52; Created a concept and organized cross-cultural art exhibits to be featured in 4 major galleries in Winston-Salem. The title will be “Blurring Racial Barriers” with panel discussions and performing artist; Awarded a grant of $16,000 to fund the exhibitions by the Winston-Salem Foundation ECHO Fund; 2005-2006. For more information, click here.

Board of Directors; Sawtooth Center for Visual Art, Marketing and Program Committees; Winston-Salem, NC; 1991-2006

Fund Raising Events: AAWS, 6' Tennis Racket; Crisis Control, Chair; W-S Children's Chorus, Hat; Aids Awareness, Ceramic Plates; 2001-Present

Guest Curator for exhibitions at Wake Forest University, Worrell Center, Winston-Salem, NC; 2003-2004

AAWS - Show Chairman, Members Show 2003; Show Chairman Cultural Crossroads 2010; Winston-Salem, NC

Guest Instructor; John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC; 1993

Guest Speaker for various art organizations.


American Indian Women’s Conference, Wake Forest University; Winston-Salem, NC; 2007

Tools to Compete for Public Art Commissions, Workshop; Page Walker Arts Center and Cary Visual Arts; Cary, NC; 2003

Public Art and the Commissioning Process; NC Public Art Network; Greensboro, NC; 2001

Urban Oases: Public Places; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art; Winston-Salem, NC; 1997

Future Visions: A Forum on Public Art; University of NC; Greensboro, NC; 1996

Artsearch, Contemporary Art Showcase; Southern Arts Federation; Atlanta, GA; 1991

Public Art Symposium; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art; Winston-Salem, NC; 1990

Public Art Dialogue - Southeast Conference; Durham, NC; 1989

Sawtooth Center for Visual Art; Winston-Salem, NC

University of Tampa; Tampa, FL

Award Winning Commercial Designer for Art Studios in Florida and North Carolina, Art Director for Ad Agencies and finally for AT&T in Winston-Salem, NC until 1996 when I began painting full-time.

Art Instruction, Inc.; Minneapolis, MN

I want my work to be more intriguing than a single glance can satisfy.


©2024 Trena McNabb