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Wildling Museum Honors Activist and Artist Bud Bottoms

Bud Bottoms celebrates the 30-year anniversary of the Santa Barbara Dolphin Family Fountain.
Bud Bottoms celebrates the 30-year anniversary of the Santa Barbara Dolphin Family Fountain.

The Wildling Museum is proud to present Santa Barbara sculptor, artist and environmental advocate James “Bud” Bottoms with its prestigious Wilderness Spirit Award. 

The award is presented by the board of directors of the Wildling Museum to honor an individual or organization whose efforts have contributed to a better understanding and appreciation of nature and wilderness.

Bud Bottoms created the iconic Dolphin Family Fountain at Santa Barbara’s Stearns Wharf and many other installations at locations as far as Ireland, Japan and Mexico, as well as throughout the United States.

Bottoms became a committed environmental activist in 1969 when Santa Barbara experienced a significant oil blowout which polluted the ocean and devastated the local beaches, killing sea birds and marine life.

He was one of the founders of the small but influential group Get Oil Out (GOO), which organized right after the tragic spill.  

After many years as an art director in a high stress career, Bottoms had a dream about a woman swimming with a dolphin in 1978 and realized he needed to make a major life change — he took up sculpting and never looked back, committing his life and art to marine mammal awareness and protection. 

Bottoms will receive his award at the Wildling’s fall event, "Some Enchanted Evening," Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015. 

Tickets are still available and event details can be found by visiting the Wildling website or by calling 805.686.8315. 

The Wildling will also celebrate its 15th anniversary and host an art auction as a fundraiser.

Past Wilderness Spirit Award winners include Dick Smith, Peter Howorth, Ansel Adams (posthumously), Ray Strong, Land Trust for Santa Barbara County, The Oak Group, Gretel Ehrich, Bob Kuhn, Fred and Nancy Emerson and Patti Jacquemain.

The Wildling Museum is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to using art to awaken a passion for nature and wilderness conservation. Exhibitions, programs and events are listed on their website at www.wildlingmuseum.org.

— Jessica McLoughlin is the assistant director of the Wildling Museum.


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