THE ARTISTS: Martin Butler |

THE ARTISTS: Martin Butler

What is your career and your current job title? My career is the art of bringing artists and people together so they can shake hands and develop a friendship based on artistic expression. I have been given the title of Chief Shaman – whatever that means – by my business partner in both California Art Walk and Bad Boy Web Design.

Describe in a sentence or two your art. In the past, my artistic expression has included sculpting gems, such as purple jade and gold-laced quartz, and the hot-forging of 24-karat gold and pure platinum into laminated patterns. I was also a blacksmith artist. My current expression is the art of producing events to bring art and people together.

How long have you been working in this discipline? Seeing the joy and appreciation that people have when coming in contact with art has been leading me in this direction for many years or forever, maybe. I have lived in Nevada County since 1993.

Why do you do it? Bringing people and art together brings cultural enrichment to the whole community and is more fun than anything else I’ve done. Due to a back injury 18 years ago, I can no longer do the gold and platinum work, so I advocate for the arts as a way of helping those who are still producing.

What do you hope to accomplish? I would like to see a time when people arrange their work schedules around art events … I do! I would also like to see our community evolve with artistic expression in every endeavor.

Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive and, if yes, what is that message? The message in my art is for people to get out and see art in person – often.

Where do you want to be with your art, and where your works are seen? Nevada City, Grass Valley, Napa Valley, San Francisco, Santa Cruz … all the time, everywhere.

What kind of special training did you take? I draw on my life’s experiences in art and business to create art events. I use the process of discovery with lots of curiosity to make things happen.

What’s your favorite part of your endeavors? My favorite must be the smiles on the people whose lives are enriched by the art.

What’s your least favorite part of your endeavors? The least favorite would be the opportunities that I must pass over because of time constraints.

How many hours a day, or, if more appropriate, a week, do you spend on your work? Besides working most of my working hours, I sometimes dream up new ways of bringing art and people together when I am sleeping.

Do you consider it hard work and could anyone do it? For me it is easy bridging the gap between the world of the artist and people who appreciate their work.

Any other comments you’d like to include? I would like to invite everybody to sample what I am talking about at the Nevada City Art Walk on Aug. 11, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. We will have art from more than 50 artists in many locations around downtown. Start your art collection now! Enter the free drawing for lots of art and other things. Check out for more information.

“The Artists” appears each Friday. To suggest a person to be profiled, call The Union newsroom at 273-9561.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User