About the Artist
John Boyd Martin has established himself as one of the most accomplished portrait artists in the entire country. His paintings now hang in over 90 cities around the world, from Ireland, to Japan, to Jerusalem, to Santa Fe, to Cooperstown, to the Pentagon.

What has made him so popular is a certain realism with which he paints. Born in 1936 and raised in the small town of Ottawa, Kansas, directly across the street from the campus of Ottawa University, Mr. Martin witnessed life at its most vibrant. Impressions of the honest and diligent work ethic of the Midwest, combined with a front row seat to lively campus life, have been instrumental in giving his work a down-to-earth feel that captures the essence of his subjects in a unique and dramatic manner. 

A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Fine Arts, where he was an honor student and member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, Mr. Martin began his career as a graphic designer and illustrator. He later became an advertising art director, winning more than 150 local and national awards for his creativity and talent. But, like a first true love, portraiture always tugged at him and in 1986, he decided to give it his complete and passionate attention.

In his long and distinguished list of over 950 commissions, Mr. Martin's work has crossed many professions, including business, academia, government, medicine, collegiate and professional sports.

One of Mr. Martin's present projects is working with Mr. Ross Perot of Dallas, TX, in developing a portrait gallery of individuals instrumental in his career of public service and Electronic Data Systems





  Mr. Martin has done portrait commissions
      for such institutions as:

  • The University of Michigan
  • The University of Texas in Austin
  • The University of South Carolina
  • Louisiana State University
  • The University of Kansas
  • The University of West Virginia
  • Marshall University
  • The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
    (25 commissions)
  • Kansas State University (2 locations)
  • Ottawa University (3 locations)
  • Steamboat Ski Corporation
  • Rochester Resorts
  • Phi Gamma Fraternity (National)
  • Pine Valley Golf Club, New Jersey
  • Major League Baseball
  • Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
  • National Baseball Hall of Fame
  • The World Golf Hall of Fame
  • The National Football League Properties
  • Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
  • Professional Golf Association
  • Tween Waters Inn, Captiva Island, Florida

  And professional sports teams:

  • The Kansas City Chiefs
  • The Kansas City Royals
  • The Atlanta Braves
  • The Detroit Tigers
  • The Milwaukee Brewers
  • The Chicago White Sox
  • The New York Mets 

  Mr. Martin has done numerous publication covers,

  • The MLB World Series • 1980, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1988
  • The MLB All-Star game • 1973, 1981, 1982, 1983
  • The NBA All-Star game • 1982
  • Kansas City Starlight Theater • 1977, 1978
  • Cigar Aficionado • December 1998
  • Golf Course Management - December 1993

  And many art prints, including

  • Fifty years of the Final Four (NCAA)
  • Fifty years of Changing Lives
    (Colonial Presbyterian Church)
  • The Legends of Kansas City Sports (ALS)
  • The Bayer Invitational Golf Tournament
  • 1993 U.S. Ryder Cup team (PGA of America)
  • Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame
  • Kansas City Royals Division Champions
  • Kansas City Royals World Champions
  • Kansas City Royals Yearbook

  In addition, Mr. Martin continues to do portrait awards for
      various organizations on an annual basis:

  • The Ottawa University Braves Hall of Fame
    (103 commissions thru 2015)
  • The Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame
  • The Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame
  • The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame
    (211 commissions thru 2012)
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters

  Mr. Martin has donated his art to several
      charitable organizations

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Steve Palermo Endowment for Spinal Cord Injury
  • Rainbows United
  • The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • American Baptist Convention Center, Green Lake, WI

  Organization Memberships:
  • The Portrait Society of America
  • The Friends of Art, Nelson Art Gallery
  • National Graphic Artists Guild
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
  • American Portrait Society
  • Scottsdale Artists School
  • The Lotos Club, New York City

  Volunteer Service Memberships:

  • President, The Art Directors Club of Kansas City,
  • Trustee, Ottawa University Board of Trustees,
  • Trustee, Kansas University Fine Arts Advisory Board,
  • Member, Overland Park Art at the Center Committee,


  • Recipient, Kansas City Urban Design Award, 1975
  • Recipient, Over 150 Art/Design Awards from New York, Kansas City, Dallas-Fort Worth, St. Louis, Omaha,
    Denver and Chicago, 1967-1978
  • Member, National Design Team for the NCAA Visitors Center, 1990 - 1994
  • Inductee, Ottawa High School Wall of Honor, 1998
  • Judge, Ward Parkway Winter Art Show, 2004
  • Judge, National Economic Council Design Show, 1972
  • Vice President, Valentine Radford Advertising,
  • President, Kaine Martin Harmon True Advertising,
  • Ottawa University Alumni Association, Honorary Membership, 2015
  • Phi Gamma Delta, Distiguished Fiji Award, 2011


  • Kansas State Senate, Topeka, KS, 1990
  • NCAA Headquarters, Overland Park, KS, 1990
  • Ottawa Community Arts Council, 2001, 2006
  • Powell Community Center, Mission, KS, 2005
  • Ward and Ward Frame and Gallery, 2003
  • Newman Gallery, Philadelphia, 1995
  • Kaw Valley Art Gallery, 1991
  • The May Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ, 1992-1996

  Feature Articles:

  • Braniff Magazine
  • Kansas City Magazine
  • Independent Magazine
  • Kansas City Star
  • Star Magazine
  • Lawrence Journal World
  • Topeka Daily Capital
  • Ottawa Herald

  TV/Radio Appearances:

  • KMBC-TV (Len Dawson)
  • WDAF-TV (Denny Trease)
  • KCMO-TV (Jack Henry)
  • Metro Sports (Duke Frye)
  • Metro Sports (Jack Harry)
  • WDAF (Dan Henry Show)
  • WHB Radio (Crunch Time)
  • KMBZ (Don Fortune)

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