“James “Bud” Bottoms is a native Californian who lives in Santa Barbara by the sea, where he has spent his life swimming and diving. His art education began at Jefferson Machamer School of Art in Santa Monica from 1947-48 and continued at the University of California-Santa Barbara from 1948-52.
Although much of his sculpture is of sea mammals, he often combines them with humans to express our essential inter-relationship. He has the unique artistry to capture their playful spirit in everlasting bronze. In particular, his admiration for the intelligence and beauty of dolphins and whales have inspired his work.
He also delights in using his grandchildren as models frolicking with dolphins, sea lions, and turtles; they express the joy he wants to achieve in bronze. His fascination for and love of Earth’s creatures lead him to sculpt snails to condors, wherever he finds beauty.
Bottoms became a committed environmental activist in 1969, when Santa Barbara experienced a human caused oil blowout which polluted the ocean and devastated the local beaches, killing sea birds and marine life.
Bottoms is internationally known for his fountains and monuments in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Toba City, Japan; and Dingle, Ireland. Nationally, they can be found in Los Angeles, at the Shriner’s Hospital for Crippled Children; the Long Beach Aquarium;
Monterey Plaza Hotel; Malibu’s Michael Landon Park; Oahu, Hawaii, and as Santa Barbara’s ocean-front landmark.
His smaller sculptures are found in galleries in California, Mexico, Hawaii, Florida, and Massachusetts.”