One of the things we enjoy most about our work at Island Art and Treasures is in getting to know the many artists that we come in contact with. Some are up-and-coming young artists, some are aspiring bi-vocational artists, and still others are well-known, more established practitioners. Today we introduce you to one of the latter in St. Martin resident, Ruby Bute.
I initially contacted Ruby Bute regarding participation in a calendar project we were
producing for Island Art & Treasures. Having spent time on internet research, and after reading the volumes of information available about her, I admit to a certain degree of trepidation, but I was instantly relieved to find that it was all for naught. Upon our arrival we pulled up to the large painted steel gate and honked per the posted sign. After a few minutes the gate slowly slid open to allow our passing. Driving on to the yard we see her sitting on the front porch of her home as the gate slides shut behind us. We spent the day getting to know this gem of St. Martin.
Much has been written about Ruby Bute, though certainly none can do justice to her creativeness and beauty. In addition to her paintings, Ruby exhibits her creative spirit as a writer, a poet, a teacher, and a storyteller. For over thirty years Ruby has produced paintings that document many of the historical aspects of St. Martin’s life and culture. Her strong colorful images capture the joyousness of such scenes of island life as Carnival, and Emancipation Day, and all serve testimony to her love and passion for the heart of St. Martin.
Born in Aruba of St. Martin parents, Ruby has been painting since the age of 6. In the early 70’s, Ruby moved to St. Maarten, her parents’ homeland, and in 1983 she held her first solo exhibition. In 2005, Bute was decorated by her Majesty, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, and is since an honorable Member of the House of Orange-Nassau. Visit her studio and you will see the proclamation and medal proudly displayed.
Exhibitions of Ruby Bute’s paintings are regularly held in St. Martin, in Amsterdam and other cities in Holland, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and Saba. Her works are owned by collectors in St. Maarten, the Caribbean and the United States.
You will find examples of Ruby’s work available on our site at our Island Art Image Library. In this short video clip, Ruby tells us about her early childhood memories, and of her love of art.
Ruby Bute, renowned as St. Maarten’s national treasure, also serves as a mentor tutor to many emerging artists. Ruby still paints daily in her gallery or on the porch of her adjacent home. When in St. Martin be sure to make the time to visit Ruby at her studio. She will undoubtedly make sure you feel quite at home, while enjoying the beauty of her art, and sipping her home-made liqueurs.
Live the Life,