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Remembrances and Condolences for Stuart Kraft

Remembrances and Condolences for Stuart Kraft

Art & Seek eulogy

Dallas Morning News coverage

 

Collected from Facebook

Cindy Bennett

So sorry for your loss. Marc Bennett & I loved Stu & will miss him camping at our ranch with his doggies; Bella & Marley.

 

Gae Asbury Benson?

I first met Stuart at “Celebration of Fitness”, a tiny yoga-based workout place, around 1981. In all the years since, never met anyone else like him– a uniquely beautiful heart and soul and sooooooo much fun! Wherever you are on the other side, it’s now a happier place. xxxxx

 

Susan Benton

I am so saddened to learn of Stuart’s passing. He is such a gift to this world and to all of us who appreciate his talents, his enthusiasm, his perseverance, and his love toward so many. Wishing you and your family comfort in this difficult time.

 

10670125_10152715528824570_5524541537139867280_nBrenda Biggerstaff-Sanchez

I was a freshman when the Pegasus was being created! I remember looking out the windows on the second floor, amazed as it grew wings, grew taller! Sparks Flying everywhere! I had never seen anything like it at 14. I never knew until now that he was a part of it! Who knew we would meet again at the Goldrush over 20 years later? He was a beloved regular for many years. I’m so sorry, and surprised to hear this, even though I know he had been struggling with his health. He seemed to be the poster child for living life on your own terms!

 

Betty Black

Enjoyed seeing him when he came to Corpus Christi..I have not known him very long, so sorry to hear that he has passed from this earth, but he has moved on to a heavenly earth.. He gave me a pair of ear rings when he was here the last time..Thanks Stuart for the help you are giving to the living.. I will always remember him and his love for his wonderful dogs..

 

Mary Bonney

Stuart is a sweetheart and will be remembered so beautifully. Blessings to you

 

Kathryn Antoinette Bordelon?

Sweet Dreams Stuart…So honored to have met you and see your beautiful art, and beautiful heart. You will be missed by so many, may you rest in peace and see us all again someday amongst the Stardust spattering of a Full Moon sky

 

Mohammad Borougerdi?

Hold onto your love one, sing love songs and keep your glass full, before the caravan of disperse comes knocking your door!!! Have a nice journey Stu

 

Jim Bowman

I know he was like family to many in the artistic community here in Dallas and will be truly missed as a brother in spirit.

 

Mariayne Brodnicki

Stu was the most charming, irascible, saddest and kindest person that has ever walked through my life. I have been looking for a place to share my grief–thanks for making the space.

 

Suzanna Brown

Another bright star is shining in the sky. It was just 38 + years ago next door picking guitars at doctor Steve Coletta’s place. My heart is with you Stuart Kraft. I wish your family, friends, all whom you touched inner peace and great strength. We do not lose people we love, even in death. They continue in everything we do. Their love is imprinted on our hearts. You are imprinted on ours Stu. Someone made a quote, “To all those in mourning – all the strength of the world is yours to borrow.” We are definitely not alone – on both sides of the veil. The end of the body’s journey is then the beginning of the souls next journey to begin again. WE celebrate you Stuart as you begin your next journey! May you continue to inspire us till we meet again. You are loved by so many. ~ From my heart to yours

 

Stephanie Brinkman

So sad to hear the news today but such a blessing that others will live on through his generosity.

 

Jessica Burnham-Hinton

He will be missed by many.

 

Murray W. Camp

Kind soul, great artist, too soon. Will be greatly missed.

 

Marc Carr

He was a good man. Prayers of peace and comfort to you, family and all who loved him.

 

220459_1667793459159_258285_oRene Castleberry?

There are so many stories and memories, none I’m afraid recent but all forever lasting. Stuart Kraft … There will never be another you. This Bear of a Man, with curly hair, as though it belonged on a Greek God. Eyes by God, that were “Electric Blue” and if you were lucky enough to let them look at you…You would never, could never forget those “Electric Blues”. They danced in your mischievousness and pierced in your anger. Those eyes sparkled in your creativity!

I miss you already, everyday the airwaves are mostly empty. Empty of your pictures, your plans, visions and thoughts. Facebook was such a good venue for you that way. You always had a thousand friends and students at your fingertips and your privacy at the same time which suited you. That is until you decided to have a gathering or a party with musical, spiritual people and merriment. Which was another part of you that needed to be fed.

I hear you talking to me and I’m sure others everyday, but for me I hear….” There is no reason not to draw, not to create something everyday!” Every time your health challenged your being able to be an artist, through all the ruff times your creativity prevailed and over the last year you were given opportunities to continue to create but not have to do all the hard labor. The world had kissed you beyond all your difficulties. I heard the gratefulness in your voice and realized that you were coming full circle in your life.

So on this Valentines Day I want to say…..Stuart Kraft you were Blessed and we have all been Blessed to have known you. Thank you my Dear Friend. I will always love you and never forget you!

 

Joe Coburn

He will be deeply missed!

 

Becky Entzenberger Cornelius

The incredible Stuart Kraft, so happy I was able to experience your genius and friendship…

 

Martin Delabano

Hearing about Stuart’s passing yesterday hit me like a ton of lead. We have lost too many good one’s here in Dallas recently. God speed ole Friend.

 

Molly DeVoss

One early morning I got a call from Robbie Allred saying someone had broken into my building (next door to Stu.) I raced over to find Stu talking to the cops and explaining how he’d heard a crash (man driving a stolen vehicle into my garage door) and he jumped out of bed with his gun and told the man to stop. The man ignored Stu and started walking toward him – that was when Jenny growled and stopped the man in his tracks, then chased him down the street. Stu was very shaken – he told me “If it hadn’t been for Jenny I would’ve shot that man in the face.” I always felt safe with Stu next door.

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Katrina Doran

We are sorry for the loss of a great man. As neighbors and friends we will miss his presence. At least he was happy. We sat under the twinkle lights out back just the other evening. It was simple and perfect. He was content, happy and in love with his new students at the CAC.

 

Nan Harris Dunlap

Good bye Stuart…I loved you living the authentic life…Loved and missed by many…

 

Fidencio Duran

Monday we lost a great friend and artist Stuart Kraft. I met him when I was a high school student at Lockhart High School, 1978 when he was a visiting artist. Later in 1990 he graciously accommodated me with his Airstream trailer when I accepted the Arch Kimbrough Fund Award from the Dallas Museum of Art. It was fun to ride in his Cadillac and meet his compadres. Most recently he put me in touch with some of his friends in Santa Fe. He was a generous friend and teacher to many and will be sorely missed.

 

Juliette E. Edgerton

Stuart was so unique. A few days after I met him, 4 years ago, he invited me over for lunch and made us grilled cheese sandwiches and espresso. I always thought it was such an interesting meal ( to be served at the same time) and it is a good memory l will always have…he will be missed….

 

Chad Evans?

After his in a coma episode, i would occasionally stop by Stuart’s studio when working in the neighborhood to check up on him… “you need anything, man? how’s it going?” he would say, “i’m okay… some days not so much, but doing much better… there’s fresh coffee over there… you hungry? there’s some smoked salmon in the fridge… you want an omelette?” …man, what a quality human dude he was! we had some great jams… at a friend’s birthday party, he handed me a fine uke and said, “play this!” …i was honored. he was seemingly truly getting healthier, was teaching again… i’m still in shock.

IMG_1229Stuart spearheaded the Pegasus Project at Arts Magnet in 1984. The sculpture department was then headed by the great Jerry Daniel, one of my cherished mentors. I was part of “The Erector Set”. The material was obtained from a scrap metal yard. Stu took us over there in his truck and trailer and yes, big pieces of iron are very heavy (and he had this big, wonderful dog, Marcel, who guarded the trucks!). He also took us to several local news sources, as a team (we wore branded hard-hats), and taught us also the importance of gathering press. I was already good at welding, but learned from him how to cut steel and apply math for design solutions.

When Pegasus was completed, there was a christening which included dance, songs, and music. Peg was a big fixture on the campus for many years… then, the school was moved to a location in South Dallas for several years, when the facility at Routh and Flora was being rebuilt. The sculpture was also relocated. The new Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts moved back to the Dallas Arts District, but Pegasus was left at the dilapidated building. After many months of seeing it abandoned, I contacted the Arts Magnet Alumni Association, and we put together a “Save the Pegasus” campaign, in 2009.

Funding was achieved, it was all transported back, and Peg’s wings were refurbished by an AMHS Grad, who did a fine mechanical job, yet failed to include the finesse which, had he had Stuart’s participation/instruction, would have been more appreciated. We are thankful, though, that Pegasus again resides at Arts Mag and stands proudly as a symbol for artistic education and achievement. Stuart was a dear friend of mine for thirty plus years. We sang, we laughed… damn sad, he’s gone way too soon!!!

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Kaz Ferns at Lee Harvey’s

Last Monday, we learned of the sudden passing of our friend Stuart. It took everyone by surprise, and when Seth asked me to write something on this page about him, it took me a while to edit my thoughts down.

If you didn’t know him, you’ve maybe seen him at Lee Harvey’s. If you ever had a conversation with him, you very likely learned something you never expected to learn at a bar.

E.B. White (the author most known for penning “Charlotte’s Web”) once wrote, “Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”

Wonder is what Stuart saw in nature and in living. When you think about it, nature and living are pretty much intertwined. He was someone that could see and feel beauty in wood, metal, and anything around him. He could also see the beauty in people, and very much in animals. He was connected in a way that many of us strive to be.

Last year, he came to Lee Harvey’s with gifts. I only know this because some of the bartenders didn’t know his name but they said, “That artist guy came in and gave me some beautiful jewelry he made and said how much he appreciated us.” They messaged me because I tend to know a lot of customers and do the social media stuff. I knew immediately who they were talking about.

On a personal note, when Stuart’s health was better, he was so excited to tell me about going to Dallas Animal Services (a.k.a. “the Pound”) and adopting a dog. He updated me about that transition into his home, and would always post photos of when he and the dogs were vacationing at the sea. In taking photos of some of his artwork, he would try to include the dogs.

Stuart, you were one of a kind. We will miss you.

-Kaz, on behalf of Lee Harvey’s

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Kathy Forrest-Wilson

I knew Stuart in jewelry class my first year in college and had just reconnected with him here on FB. He was a joy to know then and now. My heart goes out to you and your family.

 

Kim Fuselier

I had just met him in October of 2014. I really bonded in a quick manner with him. Stuart had a great sprit and loving nature.

 

Randall Garrett

Love you Stuart, I’ll miss your generous smile and laughter. Blessings on your journey.

 

Fred Garza

What a great friend, musician and artist. We will miss him greatly!

 

Susannah Garza?

Aw, Stu, we’re going to miss you something awful. Peace and love, my friend.

 

Laurie Gaudi

We love Stuart and will miss him terribly. His silly laughter, sweet ukulele songs and big hugs and smiles.

 

Rick Gold

Early on, Stewart and I made quick friends( i traded him some african trade beads and other assorted stuff for a metal winged horse creature necklace) and took a few trips to Canton Texas to sell our crafted items at the first monday sale …i remember sleeping under a makeshift tent with him, our girl friends, a dog or two, jamming on guitars and howling like fooldogs…r emember him strolling nekkid to brush his teeth…thinking how very comfortable he was in his skin …didnt he have a sales space or booth at Olla Podrida in far north Dallas?? He showed me a work in progress there, made of some ivory he was crafting for Paul and LInda McCartney…he was a very memorable character in my book..wish simple words could do him and his crazy cosmic energy some justice…

 

Misty Green

I saw Stuart Kraft in my dream last night. He was sitting contently on a chair next to a table with his hands in his lap and a subtle smile. I remember a happy pink tint to his face. Casually walking by, I noticed him and stopped. He said “You look confused. You thought I was dead”? Then he laughed…

 

Larry Haron?

So grateful I got to see you in Dallas a couple of times over the last several years and especially grateful that Facebook allowed me to see the outpouring of your talent over these last several years and enjoy your comments and contributions to the world around you. You will be greatly missed. An amazing man, amazing talent. A gift of God for sure. Love you brother.

 

Mara Christian Harris

Oh no! I’m shocked and saddened at this news. My deepest condolences to you, the rest of your family, and all of his friends.

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Daphne Roehr Hatcher

I am very sad to say that one of our oldest and dearest friends has moved on to the next plane. Stuart Kraft, you were of the most resourceful and resilient human beings I have ever known. Big, big heart. Rest in peace, Stu. Play and sing and dance, and recite poetry, and fish all day, with a pile of dog friends, and make art, cut wood, love. You lived every day, with awareness. Thank you for being in our lives.

 

Gary Hatcher ?

This man was my close friend for over 45 years. First as rebellious disciples of Reinhardt Bible Church, students at UNT and then mature artists trying to live a creative life, make art and keep it real. Stu was without a doubt a cat with nine lives. He beat back the flames of hell on many fronts, emotional, economic, and certainly physical over and over again.. I saw him come back over and over after the roller coaster of life drained him. He came back stronger and more resolved from heart disease, testicular cancer, diabetes…..and then these damn seizures.

His death caught me by surprise. I thought he had them beat. On Saturday he outlined new plans for moving forward with his work. We talked often. I was his coach when he was in a fit of depression and despair. He was my coach reminding me to lighten up, play and not take the world so seriously. I reminded Stu often of how much respect I had for him. I respected him for his tenacity, for his ability to regroup and keep moving forward. In Stu I always knew I had a friend, a place to go, an ear that I could tell all. Oh how I will miss this brave soul. I really loved and respected you Stu Kraft. What a special being you have been in my life.

“Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. ” William Shakespeare, Hamlet


John Held

I was pleased to count Stuart as a friend during my Dallas years (1981-1995). So glad I recently reconnected with him. Now, again, this loss…my condolences to his family and many friends.

 

Marian Henley?

I have so many favorite memories of Stuart that I don’t know where to begin. We met in 1979 at a farmhouse party out near Denton somewhere. Stepping outside at one point to escape the intensifying music and melee, I saw what appeared to be a great black-haired bear in a flannel shirt crouching over a cow patty in the dirt road behind the house. The bear looked up at me. The bear had magnificent glittering blue eyes.

Silently, he beckoned me over. Over I came and crouched next to him in the dirt, wondering why we were staring at a cow patty. “It’s a dung beetle,” he whispered, and in the middle of the patty I saw a shiny black insect rolling a swath of shiny black shit into a neat, compact ball, its spiky little legs working with such diligence and unerring precision that we sat transfixed, watching its perfect progress for quite a while.

If I may work the metaphor, Stuart – and all of us who’ve known him for decades – took a lot of shit over the years, as one must in our humbling human life. We’ve worked, and we’ve progressed. And we’ve rolled that shit into neat, shiny little balls. Thank you, Stuart, for that illuminating moment we shared over the cow patty. There were many more. We love you for them.

 

Rick Hernandez

He was a precious human being. Much better than most of us. Someone to aspire to.

 

Mary Hestand?

The world is less beautiful because you are gone, Stuart. Hope to see you on the other side.

stuart-ukelele

Andy Hickman?

So happy we were able to reunite with Stuart this Summer. I met him in Santa Fe 6 years ago in a camp ground….We stayed in touch and even visited him just a few months ago. He will be missed greatly. if there is anything I can do, please let me know. I was due to come and do some wood working with him this Winter….I missed the chance…..Give some extra special love to his dogs! I do hope that they find a home that will love him as much as he did….Anything I can do, let me know…..He was a friend from far. I’d love to purchase some of his slabs of wood to make a massive table in his honor…..Always drooled over his wood slabs….Love you Stuart!!!!!!! -Earthship Andy

 

Jeffrey Jackson

So very sad to learn about SK… Ironically, he had been very much on my mind this weekend, as I had just met another artist here in CA who also works a lot with reclaimed/harvested woods… He, SK, has sounded so much better and enthused about life, art, and teaching…glad he at least made his exit on the upswing! Sincere condolences to you all…. Stu will be missed by so many of us whose lives he touched! Sweet dreams, sweet man!

 

Hank Kaminsky

Damn! I wasn’t finished with him. My sincere regrets, this man was a treat to have in the studio. I am glad to have known him as long as it lasted.

 

Hep Kat-Mama

stuart was a genuinely good person. he was one of those amazing rare souls that did art for all the right reasons, straight from his heart. my last conversation with him was really motivating. it was the kick in the pants i needed to get out of my funk & move forward. we stayed at this thing so long talking that when we headed back to the main area everyone else had gone home. & i felt lucky that i’d taken that time with him & listened because he was so right and i am grateful he shared that time with me. especially now. thank you for your generous spirit and solid advice, stuart. you will be missed.

 

Denise Keeping

Hard to find the words when friends are suddenly gone. My vocabulary has been stunted by sadness. A great artist and dear friend has left us and the sun is a little dimmer today…. Howl at the moon for Stuart Kraft tonight. Glad I saw you yesterday and helped to put a smile on your sweet face. Rest in peace my friend. Love and light and hugs to all of you.

 

Karla Klay

Thought about Stuart will falling asleep and then waking. When I first met Stu in Oak Cliff with his giant head of hair his studio was manufacturing his sculptures at a break neck speed. I imagine the galaxy of stardust is a bit stirred up and excited as he blew in on their scene. Stu was so kind to me over in Oak Cliff in the Bishop’s Art District. It is very different now but, it was great back then when it was just artists and you could sign an IOU for gas at the corner and people like Stu connected you to work and new friends.

 

Katharine Koeppen

No matter what was going on in his life, he always had a smile and a hug readily available. His talent, integrity, humor and friendship will be greatly missed.

 

Don Krapf

Stuart Kraft was a good man and held the love and respect of many. We often talked about getting together for a motorcycle trip and had hopes to do it in the spring . He loved that Moto G of his . With much sadness I wish you God Speed Cuz your riding the good roads now. Thank you for your words of wisdom over the last few years glad we reconnected and thank you for your encouragement while on my coast to coast bike trip it meant alot to me and kept me in good spirts despite the rainy days. You will be missed.

 

Audrey Legatowicz

Stuart will be missed and his glow will be remembered by so many.

7456_10151665475491797_2012519531_nLiving in the Freeworld

Good bye Stuart. The art scene lost a great one of its own. You were brilliant and I’ll never forget you my friend. I was always humbled by your intelligence and your warm and giving heart. I enjoyed the time I got to spend with you in the studios at UNT and felt very blessed to share ideas with you and get your insightful feedback. Pure joy defined the day when I was blessed to hear you speak at my commencement along side Raymond Nasher. I didn’t know you or he would be speaking on that day, for me, it was like the stars in the heavens had aligned just for me and everyone in fine arts, especially sculpture. I never told you how I felt about that day but I hope I’ll see you again on the other side so I can share it with you.

God took back some of his brilliance when he called you home last Monday. Rest in peace Stuart and know your friends all miss you very much. You were and always will be a true one of a kind, a true artist in every sense of the word. ?#?RIPStuartKraft??

Stuart was a very intelligent, warm and creative person. He cared for people and took his time to share, encourage and inspire all those around him. I was lucky to know him and work next to him from time to time while he worked on his MFA at UNT. I graduated from UNT with a fine arts degree in 2002. Stuart and Raymond Nasher were the guest speakers at my commencement. I can’t tell you how excited I was to listen to Stuart and Mr. Nasher talk about art, Dallas and the future. I didn’t know either of them would be speaking on that fine day, a day which turned out to be all about art, especially sculpture my major. Boy did I feel lucky, like the stars had aligned. I respect and admire Stuart and Mr. Nasher, both will forever be great men. I’m sad he is gone but oh so glad I knew Stuart, his mark is on my heart.

 

Keith Livingston

Very sad to learn of his passing. The art world will miss a truly caring person.

 

Michael Christopher Matson

He was a great mentor to me and many other artists. We will all miss him

 

Anita Marquardt

So sad to hear this news! I have such fond memories of Stu at the “P” in Dallas. I still have one of his sculptures “Figura” that I adore! I will make a shrine tonight in his memory.

 

Amy Martin

Stu was a one-man anti-complacency unit. “Good enough” was never his motto. It had to be great. He simply could not think small. Community meant a lot to him. So did keeping your commitments, being on time and doing the best job possible. Strict! He was a man of his word. Yet he was spontaneous and tons of fun. Just a mess of contradictions. A loving and caring guy, but he sure could bite. He was warm and crusty like a baguette fresh from the oven, rough and unruly outside and all soft within.

 

Judith Brubaker Martin

I’m so sorry to hear about Stuart. He seemed to be in such a good place and working very hard in getting his life together. He was a real love and will be greatly misses.

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Walter McDonald

Stuart Kraft I first met when he was in his early 20s. He cut some stones for me and I taught him how to solder silver. We made art in each other’s studios, played music together, first guitars then ukuleles. And we fished together when he visited. I miss him.

 

Michael Mentler?

What an honor it is to have known Stuart and we cherish the two dozen plus works we own and enjoy every day – We attended his openings in Chicago…. And I shared a drive with Stu to Steamboat Springs that is legendary.

 

Greg Metz

I first met Stu on Bishop St. Oak Cliff when he and I were about the only ones occupying that territory. He was standing out in the street, cursing, mad as hell and had a pipe wrench in his hand as he had just had something stolen from his shop/studio. The gentle Ben i later discovered him to be had seriously intimidated me and for that reason decided that he was a good neighbor have on your side. he gave me advise on how to set up a sculptor’s studio- i, being a printmaker longing to build things. I followed and soon we could talk shop.

Like all youthful artists of differing schools we were great drinking rivals, sharing our opinions freely and loudly, but always respectfully! We shared many stories and good times in those early Bishop St. years. I learned a lot from his confidence, mostly about taking ownership and pride in doing what you do as an artist. Make no excuses, stand behind your work.

He was an Artisan of skill, wit and efficiency. He could also take you on a tour of Kidd Spring’s creek gathering flowers for his table and identify every plant along its bed. Stu led a creative lifestyle with no apologies for his appreciation of life. He made his own way, his way, and shared that generously. Like a good wine he mellowed richly with age. A Bear and his dogs, his Moto guzzi, his ukulele and his ‘Craft’ helped make Dallas a more culturally rich and diverse establishment. He will be missed, but not forgotten by the many who knew him.

 

Anina Moore

We were so sad to hear about Stuart. Almost every day, I wear bracelets he made. I will miss his wit, candor, and sweetness.

Sadly, Anina Moore

Director of Communications, Texas Commission on the Arts

 

L.j. Mulry

Stu was an amazing support to me when I was working to revitalize Jefferson Boulevard in Oak Cliff in the 80s and he had his studio in Bishop Arts. He would invite me for wine, inspiration and a pep talk. He gave me a howling coyote sculpture, which I still have, now in Santa Fe. He looked me up when he was here a few summers ago and we had a great time. I am watching the full moon rise and missing him.

 

Mark Negrete

A big man, of action, who lived every day, as an Artist, left us on Monday. He shared, built, designed, collaborated, challenged, and instigated right up to his last seconds. He left this world suddenly, leaving a multitude of shocked best friends behind. We grieve and think about how delicate life is. May you have safe passage, on your great journey, Stuart Kraft.

 

Karrison Stewart Nichols

Oh no! What a loss! I am so sorry to hear that. He will be sorely missed by many.

 

Obie Obermark

we’re shocked We were just talking to Stuart 10 days ago and he looked great and had such joy in what he was doing. Pat and I mourn his passing.

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Kevin Obregon?

I will always cherish my copy of Stuart’s “Stuart Kraft’s Boggy Bottom Band book he gave me way back If you haven’t seen this or own a copy, it’s a sweet little e-zine-like publication (©1978) he made on how to create hand-made musical instruments… Here’s a thought: Everyone create hand-made noise-making instruments and bring them to the gathering…

 

David Orth ?

Stu, Thanks for your gift of wild beauty & crazy magnanimity. You more or less talked me out of walking away from art. Not sure yet whether to thank you for that part. Godspeed. Keep on making stuff. Hope to catch up with you.

 

June Owens

spent half a Saturday recently with Stu and it was so valuable.  (Like a great learning lesson from a great artist!)  I heard he passed away on Monday (so so unfortunate…we had text and talked and he said “I’m ready to roll and humbled” when I asked him if I could document his story.  One of the first artist in Oak Cliff…I was going to produce a documentary about him and his art….so beautiful.  Will think of you Stu when I look at the precious walnut wood you practically “gave” me since discovering my role as a college instructor….As he text me when I left on that Saturday “you put shine on my day”…and I have to say…I really thought I had a great honor then of having him explain the “wood process/art process/his views about artist and teaching the arts…history of being on of the first artist in oak cliff…interviews/recordings Stu had…please share with family and whoever else you would think would be interested in this- we shared a mutual friend Andy Chiles (Stu designed Andy’s first engagement ring…so Stories of Stu….I’m still shocked…many people have

 

William Thomas Peal

Sincere Condolences. We loved Stu.

 

Kim Pierce

My very best Stu Kraft memory: He was naked, sitting on a sand bar in the Colorado River just below Marble Falls, sculpting something out of the sand. I remember it was like watching a happy child, and I remember those wonderful dark brown curls in the sun.

 

Dan Probst

As a friend of Stu’s for 30+ years, Pegasus was his most giving and rewarding creation.

 

Monika Graf Rajala

Heartfelt condolences to you and the rest of his family. Stu was a great artist and friend. I will sorely miss him.

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Marty Ray

So sad to hear this. He was a very very special artist and musician. I am glad I had the times with him I did and seemed to run into him everywhere over the past year. Glad he lived a good life doing what he loved and so glad to hear the dogs are taken care of as well. His pals for sure. So sorry, so sorry to hear this.

 

Colette Reid

Always lived Stuart, could joke about anything, he loved life, he was blessed with such awesome talent! God’s blessings for comfort and peace for all.

 

Andrea McEwan Ridout

So sorry to hear it. He was a very special man. I have a few wood planks from his mill.

 

Jennifer Robertson

Oh my.I am so very sorry for your loss, Alison. It seemed he was doing so well, happy and finally finding his balance, and I’m glad of that. Stuart was intelligent, sensitive, gallant and kind. He was a brilliant artist and a generous teacher, sharing his fire with too many to count. Also, he gave the best hugs.

 

Karen Bower Robinson

This is such sad news. Stuart was such a unique individual with such talent and spirit. He will be missed by so many and we will all treasure our memories of him.

 

Kim Rody

Stuart encouraged me to take my art to Florida where it belonged. He was a brilliant mentor for me and I will miss him. Peace.

 

Jen Bushman Rubinowitz

OH, no! I’m so sorry – what a loss. Glad we had just a little bit of time with him down here in Aransas Pass at the Rialto Theater.

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Michele Sandlin

It was the end of an life but NOT the end of his influence,, NOT the end of our relationship with him and we will be forever touched by his life, his art and his magnificent example of exuberant,, passionate expression as an human being!!! our friend, our companion, our inspiration… he held aloft a special light in this world and will be sorely missed! he’s just traveling on a different plane now–godspeed, Stu!

 

Julia Schloss

Stuart taught me to be a fearless artist. To trust my creative gut. And to nOt follow the pack. He was always supportive of my work and voice. I will miss his sweet bright perspective and boundless energy. He was Love… I’m so happy to have known him.

 

Keith Schwartz

I remember first meeting you when you moved to Swiss Avenue… a not always welcoming group of neighbors with priorities more focused on appearance than art and whimsy. The lining of your front walk with bowling pins cemented your status that only waned when you saved a drowning child next door. You were too interesting to ignore or dismiss. Cruising the neighborhood in the big red old Impala convertible or decorating your yard like Raymond Nasher. I have one of your “Howling Coyotes” and see it every day and it reflects your image back to me and will until we meet again. May you reside for eternity in an enclave with Magritte, Satie, Hunter S. and the like.

 

Sara Sealander

Stuart came by often to talk and visit. This is such a loss. He will be so missed by myself and so many others. I am so very sad to hear this.

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Bob Shaw

Stuart has always been one of my favorite people. He’s leaving some big shoes to fill.

 

Barrett Shipp?

Shine on you crazy diamond.

 

Marcia Maus Simpson

Oh dear…. I am sincerely sad to hear this news Allison but thank you for letting all know. I attended college with Stu and we were Instructors at the North Texas State University at the same time… we spent a lot of time supporting one another and our fellow instructors. It was a truly magical time in all our lives… growing exploring and sharing.

He was such a kind, sweet and giving man and I was so fortunate to have had my time with him. He will be greatly missed but will live on in perpetuity with his organ donations and his incredible artwork which is also loved and cherished by many. Godspeed Stu… you were much loved.

 

Jane Pierce Smith?

I remember about 12- years ago. Stuart having a party at his place on Payne. It was such a great party that he sat down and almost cried because he didn’t realize he had so many friends!

 

Scooter Smith

My relationship with Stu seems to have been about timing in some ways. We met in 1975 at North Texas State University. He wrote a column for the arts magazine, Prima, that artist Tre Roberts and I edited in 1975-1976. About eight years later, I think, Tre and I met in Dallas for coffee and catching up. As we were driving down Fitzhugh, Tre asked if I had seen Stu lately. Before I could say I had not seen him in years he drove up next to us on his motorcycle and looked in the window. An amazing moment.

And so it went, running into each other during transitional parts of our lives and, well, mostly laughing. Then in this last year, I had the opportunity to help with his visits to health professionals. We still laughed, but mostly about dealing with and fighting back from bodily traumas. We joked about leaving chunks of ourselves behind. Now there is only the chunk of him left in my heart.

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Julie Songer

This is a terrible shock and loss. I still can’t believe it. I bought a table from him a few weeks ago. He is a beautiful artist and person. Such a loss.

 

Betsy Spaeth

Mourning the loss of artist Stuart Kraft, my childhood friends’ older brother who always seemed so wonderfully kind and mysterious to my younger self, and who grew up to be a spectacularly talented and generous artist and man… RIP dear Stuart Kraft.

 

Terri Stone

Stuart made the world a brighter place and his light will shine on in all that he touched. He will truly be missed.

 

Lisa Taylor ?

I will always treasure the conversations I had with Stuart during the Dallas institute Friday night salons! He and I seemed to share the love of thought and rabble rousing!!

 

TW

I graduated from Arts Magnet in 2001. I cannot retell the countless times I had lunch under, gazed out of the window, or simply thought about our Pegasus. It was and is such a truly unique and inspiring mascot. I am an opera singer in Chicago. Pegasus will always remain so close to me in my memories and as I continue my career. Thank you Mr. Kraft, you made a resounding work of art, one who’s symbolism will outlive us all.  Class of 2001

 

Eloise Vellucci?

Rest well Stu. i think of you when I wear my jewelry or see my iron cat at the top of the stairs. Thanks for being there when I needed you and for your kindness and love, If you see Reese send him my love. You and he should have lots to talk about.

 

Maegan Whitton?

I am sad to hear the news of Stuart’s sudden passing. About 15 years ago, I met Stuart as my Art History Lecturer at El Centro College whilst studying for my nursing degree! He was understanding of my lack of ‘artistic’ talent but was the perfect person to share my love of Art! Mr Kraft has certainly left his mark! (In more ways than one!) Rochdale, United Kingdom

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John Wolf
O you mad, you superbly drunk!
If you kick open your doors and play the fool in public;
If you empty your bag in a night, and snap your fingers at prudence;
If you walk in curious paths and play with useless things;
Reck not rhyme or reason;
If you break the rudder in two unfurling your sails before the storm:
Then I will follow you, comrade, and be drunk and run with the dogs.

I have wasted my days and nights in the company of steady wise neighbors.
Much knowing has turned my hair grey, and much watching has made my sight dim.
For years I have gathered and heaped all scraps and fragments of things;
Crush them and dance upon them, and scatter them all to the winds!
For I know ’tis the height of wisdom to be drunk and run with the dogs.

Let all crooked scruples vanish, let me hopelessly lose my way.
Let a gust of wild giddiness come and sweep me away from my anchors.
The world is peopled with worthies, and workers useful and clever;
There are women who are easily the first, and men who come decently next:
Let them be happy and prosperous, and let me be foolishly futile.
For I know ’tis the end of all works to be drunk and run with the dogs.

I swear to surrender this moment all claim to the ranks of the sensible.
I let go my pride of learning and judgment of right and of wrong.
I’ll shatter the vessel of memory, scattering the last drop of tears;
With the foam of the ruby red wine, I’ll bathe and brighten my laughter.
The badge of the proper and prim I’ll tear into shreds for the nonce.
I’ll take the holy vow of being worthless, and drunk and run with the dogs.

~ Tagore, rewritten by Stu

 

Collected from Art&Seek

 

  • Thanks Amy for these lovely if sad words, brings back a slice of Texana we left 15 yrs ago… and can you believe that our Bluebonnet Girl just turned 17?!

     

  • Kind soul, great artist, too soon. Will be greatly missed.

     

  • This is the best I have read about Stu. It helps spread his joy to those who knew him, and to those who were, perhaps, hoping to know him. Sharon Corgan Leeber

  •  

    Good bye Stuart. The art scene lost a great one of its own. You were brilliant and I’ll never forget you my friend. I was always humbled by your intelligence and your warm and giving heart. I enjoyed the time I got to spend with you in the studios at UNT and felt very blessed to share ideas with you and get your insightful feedback. Pure joy defined the day when I was blessed to hear you speak at my commencement along side Raymond Nasher. I didn’t know you or he would be speaking on that day, for me, it was like the stars in the heavens had aligned just for me and everyone in fine arts, especially sculpture. I never told you how I felt about that day but I hope I’ll see you again on the other side so I can share it with you. God took back some of his brilliance when he called you home last Monday. Rest in peace Stuart and know your friends all miss you very much. You were and always will be a true one of a kind, a true artist in every sense of the word. ?#?RIPStuartKraft??

  • Stuart was a very intelligent, warm and creative person. He cared for people and took his time to share, encourage and inspire all those around him. I was lucky to know him and work next to him from time to time while he worked on his MFA at UNT. I graduated from UNT with a fine arts degree in 2002. Stuart and Raymond Nasher were the guest speakers at my commencement. I can’t tell you how excited I was to listen to Stuart and Mr. Nasher talk about art, Dallas and the future. I didn’t know either of them would be speaking on that fine day, a day which turned out to be all about art, especially sculpture my major. Boy did I feel lucky, like the stars had aligned. I respect and admire Stuart and Mr. Nasher, both will forever be great men. I’m sad he is gone but oh so glad I knew Stuart, his mark is on my heart.

     

  • Thank you for this beautiful recap of Mr. Krafts’ life and legacy. I graduated from Arts Magnet in 2001. I cannot retell the countless times I had lunch under, gazed out of the window, or simply thought about our Pegasus. It was and is such a truly unique and inspiring mascot. I am an opera singer in Chicago. Pegasus will always remain so close to me in my memories and as I continue my career. Thank you Mr. Kraft, you made a resounding work of art, one who’s symbolism will outlive us all.

    Class of 2001

    TW

     

  • As a friend of Stu’s for 30+ years, Pegasus was his most giving and rewarding creation.

     

  • Stu was the most charming, irascible, saddest and kindest person that has ever walked through my life. I have been looking for a place to share my grief–thanks for making the space.

 

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