Kaffeehaus’ “Meet the Artist” series showcases the work of local artists like Trenita Finney, and offers a meet-and-greet space for community members to ask questions.

By Donnie Mangino

Photos courtesy of Trenita Finney

Bright illustrations of powerful, confident women provide a glaring contrast to the white walls of Kaffeehaus Cafe. Their mystical, anime-inspired eyes demand attention. The artist behind the creations, Trenita Finney, is surrounded by curious guests, discussing her work and at the cafe’s “Meet the Artist” event on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The meet-and-greet was the closing event of her month-long art show.

“My friend shared a post directly through Facebook to me about openings at Kaffeehaus and I sent them a message immediately,” Trenita says of the opportunity she was given to display her artwork. “I had driven past the coffee shop for a year, and when I started taking a different route to work, I had forgotten all about them. It was great that everything came back full circle.”

Each piece of Finney’s work tells a unique story of raw individuality and realism. In her piece “Black Girl Magic,” a quartet of women stand in solidarity, arm in arm with half smiles and differing hairstyles, each with their own unique fashion sense. “My art is a visual representation of my growth as a person. It changes and evolves the way I do,” says Finney. “I’ve drawn and created things my whole life, so [my art] is definitely an extension of myself. So many things inspire it, but the main components are music, pop culture, myself, hair, and the people I meet.” Finney says many of her original paintings include subtle references to her friends and family members.

“I try to highlight features that I don’t see every day, like a punk rock girl with sandy red hair, freckles, green eyes and a caramel macchiato skin tone. I want to see the beauty I see every day more often.”

Finney hopes her art inspires those who come across it. Her self-assured and laid back personality are reflected in her work.

“I want to be a freelance artist and build a foundation for myself, but sometimes I get caught up in self-doubt,” she says. “Doing this event helped shift my perspective and motivate me to show my artwork more.”

Finney’s plans for the year ahead include expanding her online store and completing a tattoo apprenticeship.

Finney’s plans for the year include expanding her online presence, completing her tattoo apprenticeship at Eclipse Tattoo LLC in Springdale and doing more art shows at shops like Kaffeehaus.

“I know that if I put my focus there, it will help me expand my artwork to a level where it’s my full-time income. I would love to do more art shows at shops like this in the future.”

Check out Finney’s Etsy store and website. For inquiries and opportunities, reach the artist at hello@trenitamadeit.com.

“Meet the Artist” is an recurring event at Kaffeehaus Cafe, located at 1022 Chestnut St., 15212. For more information, visit the Kaffeehaus Facebook page.