The Artist, Historian, and Father
Brook Kapūkuniahi Parker was born and raised in Kahalu’u, O’ahu. Brook’s family roots run deep in the islands, he being a direct descendant of John Palmer Parker, founder of the Parker Ranch on the Big Island of Hawaii. John Parker’s wife, Rachael Keli’ikipikanekaolohaka Ohiaku, was a great-granddaughter of Kamehameha the Great and his wife Kanekapolei. The majority of Brook’s art portrays the deep love and admiration he has for his ancestors. As a child, Brook was greatly influenced in the arts by his father David, a gifted self-taught artist and painter, Hawaiian historian, genealogist, and writer. As Brook grew older his father’s interest became his interest and with no formal art school training, his father’s library of art and Hawaiian history books become his teachers.
As a full-time artist, Brook has been able to take the people and things that are sacred to him and share them with the world. His specialty is the kū or the masculine paintings of warriors in battle scenes and kings (Brook’s middle name Kapūkuniahi, which means “the firing canon,” comes from his grand-uncle John Kapūkuniahi whose father, Robert Waipa Parker, was captain of the royal guards under King Kalakaua). One of the first paintings Brook did was of the twins Kameeiamoku and Kamanawa, royal counselors and uncles to King Kamehameha I. Since then, Brook’s rendition of chiefs and warriors have been featured in various publications, most notably in the revised edition of Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii, a huge undertaking for which he was commissioned by Kamehameha Publishing.
Brook’s artistic talent and diversity have produced everything from illustrations for children’s books to artwork for numerous private and public organizations including Aha Punana Leo Hawaiian Language Immersion Schools, the University of Hawaii and the Hawaii Board of Education. His works were recently featured at the grand opening of the Disney Aulani hotel, where they currently reside.
In addition to his paintings and drawings, Brook is a sought-after historian and lecturer and is also a skilled artisan of Hawaiian weaponry and crafts.
Brook is married to the former Drena-Jo Kauakoko’ipohaiapuninamoku Kalani and they are the proud parents of five children. They currently reside in Kalihi, O’ahu.