James Burns and Maxine Martell

James Burns (American, born 1921, died 2007); Maxine Martell (American, born 1937)

Late Northwest artist and writer James Burns and his widow, artist Maxine Martell, collaborated to create artworks for public spaces.

Maxine Martell creates paintings, prints, and glass artworks. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fort Wright College in Spokane, Eastern Washington, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1962. She has served as the curator for the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane and director of the Spokane Arts School (both in Eastern Washington), before moving to Western Washington. She has been an artist in residence at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, at Western Washington University, and at the Centrum Foundation in Port Townsend (all in Western Washington). She lives and works on Whidbey Island, Northwestern Washington, and keeps a studio in Seattle. The Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, Northwestern Washington, exhibited a retrospective of her work in 2010.

James Burns studied at Stanford University in California and the University of Chicago. He developed a lumber company in Montana and helped found St. George's School in Spokane, Eastern Washington. After marrying Maxine Martell in 1971, he enrolled in writing workshops, explored his interest in photography, and studied editing at the University of Washington. He served as the managing editor of Photography Northwest in Seattle for several years, and wrote articles for many arts and photography publications.