Bud Bottoms Dies at Age 90

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Bud Bottoms Dies at Age 90
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Flowers laid at the base of the Stearn's Wharf Dolphin Statue created by Bud Bottoms (Photo: John Palminteri / KEYT)

By edhat staff

Iconic Santa Barbara artist, sculptor and environmental activist James "Bud" Bottoms passed away at age 90 this weekend.

He reportedly passed away peacefully in Hospice care.

Bottoms is best known around Santa Barbara for his dolphin and animal sculptures, most famously, the Dolphin Fountain in front of Stearn's Wharf. Similar dolphins created by Bottoms are also placed in Santa Barbara's sister cities: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Toba City, Japan; and Dingle, Ireland.

Following the 1969 oil spill off the Santa Barbara coast, Bottoms became a fervent environmentalist who helped found the activist organization "Get Oil Out!" (GOO). He was also instrumental in creating the first-ever Earth Day celebration which is now celebrated worldwide. 

Friends, family, and locals took to social media to express their condolences. There was a common theme of Bottoms' kindness and compassion with many compliments of his youthful character.

Reporter John Palminteri stated that Bottoms postponed his 90th birthday party in January following the mudslide and was planning to host a party this coming January for his 91st. 

Bud Bottoms (Photo: John Palminteri)
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yin yang Sep 28, 2018 01:27 AM
Bud Bottoms Dies at Age 90

My father worked with him at Tempo. Thank goodness my dad got out early too, but not as soon as Bud. I fell in love with one of the brothers -- I was 10 or so; it was a Youth Theater production of Romeo & Juliet. Other old timers must remember this and other performances of theirs! Very joyful... ================================================================ He and the family were icons in SB, certainly after the oil spill. We supported Bud and GOO 100%. Bless Bud and all. He lived a truly good life, had a great effect, and left us with stunning art work -- and our memories of him. Blessings and condolences to his family. Bud is SO Loved. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- https://www.independent.com/news/2018/sep/24/get-oil-out-founder-and-dolphin-sculptor-bud-botto/ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- https://www.noozhawk.com/article/bud_bottoms_santa_barbara_sculptor_environmentalist_dies_at_90_20180924

a-1561441410 Sep 26, 2018 10:34 AM
Bud Bottoms Dies at Age 90

Oh, no. This is sad, sad news. I am SO GLAD I got to say goodbye to Bud. When I was walking up the stairs at Shoreline Park I was delighted to find Bud walking ever so slowly ahead of me. He said he was exercising his knees. We hadn't seen each other in over a year. We sat on the bench 1/2 way up the stairs and had a nice, long long talk. We discussed how the City of Santa Barbara had given him such a hard time about the installation of the Dolphin Fountain (among other Santa Barbara topics we discussed). Oh, oh, oh. Such a gentle man and wonderful class act and terrific artist. He really really loved Santa Barbara. Tears are streaming down my face. Bud was one of my favorite people. I can still see his little Jack Russell terrier hopping up into Bud's arms, so many decades ago. I agree with earlier commenter: My heart hurts so much. Condolences to Tim and Joe and Benji.

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