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Don Stewart of DS Art Partners with NSOF on Newest Project

Don Stewart of DS Art Partners with NSOF on Newest Project

Joe CockrellAug 14, 2020

We are incredibly excited to announce that Navy Special Operations Foundation (NSOF) was selected as the official partner organization for DS Art's newest project, JAKE!

A Meaningful Partnership and Cooperative Effort

When Don Stewart proposed to create one of his masterpieces representing the Navy Diver Community and have NSOF as this project's official partner, we couldn't have been more thrilled and honored!

Once JAKE is completed and the prints are made available, DS Art has generously offered to donate 50% of those proceeds back to NSOF! DS Art's immense generosity will directly help increase the assistance NSOF gives to the NSO Community as well as enable our organization to provide these deserving Navy Special Operations Heroes and their families with the tools necessary to stay in the fight.

With a little help from some Deep Sea Divers, countless hours of diligent research and all but fully immersing himself in the history of Diving, JAKE is quickly coming along and we simply cannot wait for the final art piece to be revealed!

From the very beginning, DS Art has been quick to support NSOF's mission by donating art for all of our major fundraisers and graciously providing his time to help bolster the morale of our NSO Operators with his talents. In May, during the peak of COVID-19 nationwide lockdowns, Don Stewart was the first to volunteer his services for our #NSOFCreates virtual series. Don created several mini art tutorials exclusively for the service-members and families that Navy Special Operations Foundation support, which was a huge hit!

DS Art's Tutorial

The Mark V Naval Rig, known as JAKE


The Mark V Naval Rig, known as "JAKE" is a symbol for divers who continue to serve all over the world.

The inspiration comes from the 11ft monument proudly standing in front of the United States Navy Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC) in Panama City Beach, Florida. The center has 22 different courses of instruction for roughly 1300 students annually, including Navy EOD Operators, Navy Diving Medical Technicians, and Divers from all five branches. The training center conducts approximately ten thousand dives each year and there are roughly 300 students in training at any given time.

NDSTC is also the initial point where the heroes that make up the Navy Special Operations (NSO) Community first come together and train to become elite leaders supporting our Nation's Strategic Guidance.

As for the name, it is believed that the term "JAKE" may come from the first dive instructor, Jake Anderson, who had used the stuffed suit as a prop. The naval rig and Mark V helmet can be argued as being the most symbolic of Navy Deep Sea Divers, and will always stand in the history of Navy diving.

Meet the Artist - Don Stewart

Meet the Artist - Don Stewart

Though he has family who are career active service, Don Stewart is civilian through and through. He likes to quip that he was born too young for Vietnam, and too old for Desert Storm, and that the military is grateful for both.

With degrees in Biology/Art and Medicine, and a year's internship at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Stewart discharged himself from the hospital just in time to avoid a lucrative surgical career. For the last three decades he has turned from drawing blood to drawing pictures, creating a signature style of visual humor from the tip of an ordinary ballpoint pen.

Over a decade ago, at the suggestion of a retired Marine Colonel, Don applied his academic training to the study of military history, creating a series of drawings to honor the professionalism and sacrifice of those who serve. In the process, his work has raised awareness and funds for wounded warfighters and their families.

Navy Diver is the most recent addition to this unique military collection, and the twelfth in the series. Created with the essential guidance of experienced Navy Divers, the drawing uses specialty-specific equipment and ordnance to detail the history, courage and valor of these highly trained and versatile sailors.

Don Stewart currently makes his living hammering words and pictures together at the DS Art Studio in Birmingham, Alabama. His drawings can be seen online at


Make sure to check back with NSOF for more updates via our website or follow us on Social Media ** **

If you'd like to find out more about this project or NSOF's impact on the Navy Special Operations Community, please feel free to reach out to us, we'd love to hear from you!

Please see the contact information below.

Email: | Call or Text: 757-656-9769 | Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6881, Virginia Beach, VA 23456