About Stu

Stu Braks is an award-winning artist and drum-maker based in Cave Creek, Arizona. His artwork originates from interests in drumming, the Old West and Native American culture. Stu's specialty is painting faces, currently focusing on two series:  American Indian portraits and Cultural Icons. He uses acrylics to paint his subjects both on canvas and on his handmade hoop drums. Stu's goal is to capture the dignity, character, emotion and spirit of the subjects, and to bring those feelings to the viewer.

 

Although he's been creating art and music since childhood, Stu's career path followed his left-brained passions of technology and engineering. A successful career in the semiconductor industry took Stu from New England to Silicon Valley, California and finally to metro-Phoenix, Arizona. Living in the artist community of Cave Creek /Carefree for 8 years proved too tempting for Stu and, with encouragement from his wife and two daughters, he made the career change to full time artist in 2011. StuARTdrums was born.

 

Building Native style hoop drums, and experiencing the inherent spirituality and symbolism, has opened a new area of artistic expression for Stu. The "circle" and "4 directions" hold important significance in Native American spirituality, and Stu incorporates these concepts into his round art drums.

 

Stu's drawing and painting abilities have been influenced by boyhood art heroes such as Mort Drucker, Norman Rockwell, and Walt Disney.  Stu is a big fan of the Cowboy Artists of America, past and present.

 

Stu has won awards & recognitions both for his painted drums and for his canvas art:

  • Selected to participate in the AZ Republic's series, "Inglorious Arizona" Spring 2016
  • Feature Artist at Phoenix Public Library's @CentralGallery, June-Aug 2015
  • Honorable Mention, Glendale Arts Council Juried Fine Art Competition, Jan 2014
  • 2nd Place, People's Choice Award, Arizona State Fair Fine Art Competition, November 2013
  • 2nd Place, acrylics, Arizona State Fair Fine Art Competition, October 2013
  • 4th Place, mixed media, Arizona State Fair Fine Art Competition, October 2013
  • Honorable Mention, acrylics, Arizona State Fair Fine Art Competition, October 2013
  • First Place, acrylics, Phippen Museum Western Art Show, May 2013
  • First Place, Artist of the Year, Sonoran Arts League, Dec 2012
  • 3rd Place, acrylics, Phippen Museum Western Art Show, May 2012
  • First Place, Artist of the Month, Sonoran Arts League, March 2012
  • Juried Member, Arizona Art Alliance, June 2012
  • Honorable Mention, acrylics, Arizona State Fair Fine Art Competition, October 2012
  • Honorable Mention, mixed media, Arizona State Fair Fine Art Competition, October 2012
  • Honorable Mention, Small Works Art Show & Sale, Carefree AZ, October 2012
  • Hidden in the Hills Host Studio, November 2012, 2013, 2014

 

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