Born and raised in Denver, Colorado in 1974, Straus grew up enjoying every opportunity to hike, ski, camp or otherwise spending time outdoors in nature. He left to study at Syracuse University in New York receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1997. His first career in directing documentary narrative films and advertising, took him to Los Angeles and later, New Zealand. His achievements in this medium included the appearance of his films in numerous international film festivals.
In 2018, after a decade of professional film making, Straus returned to Denver and shifted his focus. He began fervently working toward becoming a full-time fine artist, hosting his first solo show in 2019. His second solo show, The Parks, debuted at a Denver gallery and garnered attention for his modern approach to the depiction of iconic landscapes, solidifying his style, vision and emergence into the art scene. The exhibit was also featured later that year at the American Mountaineering Museum. His colorful and dynamic work has been exhibited in galleries, institutions, museums and private collections in California, New York and Colorado.
Straus is proud to have been recognized on a national level with the US National Park Service. Beginning in 2021 his “Tetons National Park” painting will be on permanent exhibit at the visitor’s center in the Grand Tetons National park in Wyoming.