Brett Stokes is known as an enigma in art circles. The artist is a celebrated “leanin’ tree” greeting card artist who has created his own line, “Wild, Wild West.” But the more pronounced imagery associated with his paintings is not the cowboy art whimsically rendered for heartfelt greeting card sentiment – Stokes is better known for a strong commitment to his inner vision, the environment, and vivid Native American imagery, including bold portraiture, but not excluding sociopolitical commentary and a voice for the natural world.
The artist’s family ancestry includes Native American heritage from the plains of Oklahoma. “I believe when my great aunt told me as a child, as she told my father, that we were Indian, that I am compelled to honor and respect the old ones who prayed for us, in a good way.” The artist’s focus on Native American imagery began as a child in California. This vision continues as conceptual paintings, monotypes, and sculptures in his current body of work.
Brett Stokes’ art is a reflection of his Cherokee heritage, including the interrelation of man, the natural world, and all his relations, resulting in the blending of mixed blood with tribal purity.
The artist has exhibited in private and public galleries and his work is widely collected nationally and internationally. In 1996 he was honored by the Fallbrook Village Association with the “Artist of the Year” award and in 2003 he was the popular vote winner for the California Quarter Design. His large scale murals grace several buildings in downtown Fallbrook.
Over his career Stokes has been represented by many fine galleries in Denver, Taos, Palm Desert, San Juan Capistrano, Sedona and Fallbrook. Exhibition highlights include the Trail of Tears Show at the Cherokee Heritage Museum in 2004, the Free Native American Show in Oklahoma City in 2000, and Artworks Gallery Magazine in Japan in 1990.