Rancher… Artist… Poet… Writer… Attorney… Any and all of these words combine to describe Brad Phares and are the reasons he’s something beyond your typical cattleman. He is the author of Celtic Cowhunter. Brad Phares is an 8thgeneration rancher living in Okeechobee, Florida with his wife, Sam, and children Jacqueline and Jared. This is where he channels his multi-faceted background into his oil paintings and writings to provide a perspective on ranch life unlike any other. Brad grew up working on his family’s ranch with all that time and experience becoming the source of inspiration for his early drawings, paintings, and poetry. Upon graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture (animal sciences) and then from St. Thomas University School of Law with a Juris Doctor, rather than pursuing a career as an attorney, he chose instead to focus on his art and hopes that his representations of contemporary Florida ranch life, along with his writings, will serve to enlighten others as to the invaluable benefits that Florida ranches provide to the state’s ecosystem and economy.
Having encountered a wide array of people, both through the student body of St. Thomas as well as the urban population in general, throughout the metropolitan areas of coastal Florida while attending law school, Brad recognized the disconnect between Florida’s coastal population and those in the rural backcountry of the state. In the fall of 2012, he launched a blog, RanchSoul.com, as a platform with which to bridge that gap and educate others by sharing his cowboy poetry, stories about Florida’s ranching lifestyle-both past and present, along with photographs capturing the landscape and work common to Florida’s ranch country. While Brad does include some historical and nostalgic subject matter, the majority of his work captures and represents a realist view of ranch life in America today rather than an overly romanticized version that so many people in urban areas hold.
Brad has exhibited throughout the southeastern United States and his paintings are collected by private corporations, public institutions (such as the University of Florida), as well as the Seminole Tribe of Florida. His writings have appeared monthly in the Florida Cattleman & Livestock Journal. Brad is also one of the founding members of the Cowboy Artist’s Association of Florida (CAAF) and he participated with other members of CAAF in an exhibit at the Northeastern Nevada Museum as part of the 26th Annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering which featured the exhibit “Five Centuries of Ranching” from Florida.
For further details about Brad’s work, scheduled exhibitions, or appearances please use the following contact information:
W. Bradley Phares
23642 E State Road 78, Okeechobee, FL 34974