Travis Stewart is a mixed media artist and award-winning bartender that resides in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City. He was classically trained and graduated with his BFA from Kansas State University. Travis’ current paintings focus on the technique and tradition surrounding craft cocktail culture, wine and spirits.
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Bartender adds art to the mix, turning bottles, labels and more into unique works…(read more)
Travis Stewart was born and raised in Olathe, Kansas. From a young age Travis found himself drawn to the creative process. During elementary school he received a state award for writing and illustrating a short story of a young Native American boy’s journey to becoming a man and his search for the spirit of the soul. His talent was further nurtured when he was accepted into the school districts Gifted Program-Quest. Travis remained in the Quest Program through high school and enjoying projects in poetry and excelling in the study of space relations. A highlight of the program was competing in Odyssey of Mind with a team that invented a traction release mechanism for wheelchairs.
While completing a Fine Art degree from Kansas State University with an emphasis in painting, Travis fell in love with another form art, a new type of palette and sensory exploration in the form of craft cocktails. Since moving to Kansas City, he has developed an intimate working knowledge of spirits and cocktails by earning multiple certifications in this field as well as working in many of the city’s top bars. These bars include Manifesto, Port Fonda, The Kill Devil Club and Extra Virgin. Travis has competed as a finalist in numerous cocktail competitions and was Kansas City’s Bartender of the year award by the Pitch in 2012.
The knowledge and experience in the bartending craft is the inspiration behind much of his current artwork. Travis works by collaging brand labels and product packaging, sealing these textures in resin and painting over the top to tie them together and describe a narrative. He views his art as time capsules of the current cocktail renaissance that is taking place nation wide. In his eyes, the labels and materials produced by these brands embody the skillful art, determination and passion spanning generations behind the creation of the products themselves. Brand recognition as art serves for memories to be recalled and acts as a sensory trigger. The artist’s aim when viewing his work is for you to walk through the flavor of that particular spirit or drink and to relive a memory to which it is attached.
Outside the studio Travis spends much of his free time in the outdoors. He grew up taking walks in the woods, looking for animal signs and hunting for arrowheads with his father. Travis feels closest to God when he is in nature and enjoys hiking, camping, fishing and canoeing. Accompanied by his mother and younger brother, many of his most cherished memories were forged during family trips to rivers and campsites. Travis attributes the act of staying engaged in life to an ongoing search for personal growth. He is an avid reader and constantly aspires to mature in wilderness survival skills, firearms training, business, art, and most importantly in his walk with Jesus.