Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One of our own: Jen Trute passes away

from Dennis Paul Batt

Jennifer "Jen" Trute, an American fine artist, who was known for her environmentally conscientious oil paintings, passed away at the age of 51 on Saturday, July 23.  Born May 22, 1960 in Springfield, Massachusetts, she followed an innate artistic vision throughout her life. As a child, her love of nature and fascination with its beauty inspired steady practice of drawing and painting. Educated at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, from 1978-1983, she majored in painting and graphic design. She freelanced as a graphic designer and illustrator in Boston and San Francisco until 1989 when she started specializing in storyboard and comp advertising illustration. While living in New York, Seattle and then El Cajon, she worked for various ad agencies in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and Orange County.

For the past 12 years, Jen dedicated her focus on creating a series of detailed oil paintings on linen and canvas using traditional techniques with multiple layers of glazing, velaturas, scumbling, and transparent optics. Her art combines elements of classical and surreal styles creating luminous visual narratives of the current state of our society and environment in an edgy, often darkly humorous way.

Jen's paintings earned numerous awards throughout San Diego and were exhibited in many galleries and museums, notably the Oceanside Museum of Art, San Diego Art Institute's Museum of the Living Artist, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Noel- Baza Gallery, Cannon Art Gallery, and the San Diego Natural History Museum. Her work was also published in many newspapers, magazines, and catalogs notably in a feature article in the San Diego Union, December 27, 2007.

Her fascination with natural sciences, art history, sociopolitical issues, and concern over environmental degradation fueled a voracious reading habit, and enriched the depth of her art. Jen loved hiking, music, the company of cats, and discussing the mysteries of life with friends. Her dry humor, keen observation skills, and intelligence made for great conversation.
Jen was preceded in death by her parents, Alice and David Trute of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, and is survived by a brother and sister - Mary Trute and David Trute.

A memorial exhibition will be held at the Noel Baza Gallery, 2165 India St. San Diego, CA. The opening will be on Saturday, September 3rd from 2:00pm - 7:00pm. The exhibition will run through September 24th.

We at Picked RAW mourn the loss of Jen Trute.  She will be missed dearly.

Editors note: Here is a little excerpt of a review I wrote about the New Contemporaries II exhibit Trute participated in at Noel-Baza gallery back in 2009.  KF

"Jen Trute can paint.  The only other painter I’ve seen lately with a tad bit more artistic prowess than she has, is the young figurative painter Jesse Mockrin from SDSU.  Wow good stuff.  Trute oil paints using traditional techniques according to the artist, “on linen with multiple layers of glazing, scumbling and transparent optics … reminiscent of Old Master paintings”.  Indeed, her piece entitled “The Drone’s Last Extraction” has all the makings of a Great Master work – sword, horn, shield, and Mother Nature but with one peculiar addition, a vampire bat.  Trute is also considered a Pop Surrealist but is also quite capable of doing rather straight portraiture (Movers and Shakers exhibit, portrait of Dennis Paul Batt) and Rocky Horror Picture Show imagery filtered through a Dali-esque eye."


  1. Kevin, thanks so much for posting this memorial to Jen Trute. She was such a huge part of the art in SD as her talent contributed in such a vital way to our community.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear of Jen's passing. She was an amazing artist who contributed so much to the art world and the environmental movement. She will be missed.

  3. Still missing Jen.
    From a close friend, JoAnn