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William (Bill) Churchill

Birth place or City of origin: Texas
State of origin: TX
Last known City:
Last known State: CA
Start/Birth date: 1936
Death/End date:

Born in Texas, Churchill is a realistic sculptor in wood with major emphasis on Western, Native American, and wildlife subject matter. Bill’s primary goal is to produce sculpture that combines the natural beauty of wood, nature’s art, with subjects that complement the wood.
His work has been recognized with four People’s Choice Awards, twenty-five Best of Show Awards, and three Purchase Awards. In addition, Churchill been the featured artist at five art shows, has been the subject of feature articles in nine national magazines, and has participated in numerous professional, nationally recognized invitational art shows including the Autry Museum’s Masters in Los Angeles

As Churchill points out, the durability of wood sculpture has been proven by 6,000-year-old wood carvings in the Smithsonian Institution. These wood antiquities have been preserved by an ancient mixture of boiled linseed oil and beeswax. As a result, it’s the only finish material used on Churchill’s artwork.

Basically self-taught, his art studies include high school and college, classes with professional artists at the Scottsdale Artist’s School in Arizona, field trips in Korea and Japan, various correspondence classes, and memberships in the California Carvers Guild and the San Diego Fine Woodworking Association.

Churchill has also worked as a general building and engineering contractor and is a licensed private pilot, fixed wing and helicopter. However, since his full-time venture into wood carving twenty years ago he has not looked back.


Bill Churchill Biography

Born in Texas, Bill grew up in the hey-day of Western stars like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. As a child, playing in the plains of the Panhandle, he expected to find old guns or saddles of dead outlaws behind every Sagebrush. He didn't, instead he found a love of the Western way of life.

A tour of military duty in Korea and Japan, exposed him to the beauty of wood in architecture and sculpture. Beautifully carved sculpture and doors were elaborate elements of the buildings. Here he found a love of wood and sculpture and was impressed by the many beautiful uses.

A twenty year career as a General Building and Engineering Contractor further enhanced his love of wood and architecture. Then, a chance encounter with a beautiful wood carving led to carving as a hobby. This opened his eyes and the light went on, so to speak. Always interested in art, this new hobby seemed to combine every aspect of his life’s influences; Western Art, Sculpture, and Wood.

Now, after more than twenty years as a wood sculptor, Bill Churchill, also known as W.M. Churchill, Jr., has turned this love to a relentless passion. Bill’s goal is to create wood sculpture that showcases the beauty of wood and tells our Western Americana story. This unique conceptual blend has resulted in twenty-four Best of Show Awards, four People’s Choice Awards, and countless first place Blue Ribbons, and participation in such prestigious art shows as the Masters of the American West at the Autry Museum.

Masters of the American West, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA; Mountain Oyster Club, Tucson, AZ—Purchase Award, 1993; Cattlemen’s Art Show, Paso Robles, CA—Featured Artist 1994; Design In Wood Show & Competition, Del Mar, CA—Best Of Show & President’s Award, 1999 and Best Of Show 2009; Mountain Oyster Club, Tucson, AZ—Honorary Artist Life Member Inductee, 2002; Mountain Oyster Club, Tucson, AZ—Olief Weighorst Best Of Show Award, 2003; San Dimas Festival of Western Art —Best Of Show & Purchase Award, 2005; Fall Wildlife Art Show, San Dimas, CA—Gold Medal for Sculpture, 2006 ; Fall Wildlife Art Show, San Dimas, CA—Silver Medal for Wildlife, 2008; Fall Classics Show, Hamilton, MT; and many other Fine Art invitational art shows. California Carvers Guild—4 People’s Choice; 19 Best of Show; 60+ Blue Ribbons; 3 Sponsor’s Choice Awards.

Art of the West, July-August 1999, "Just One Carving Away"; Wood Carving Illustrated, 1999, “The Western Art of William Churchill Cowboys & Indians,” Sept 2002; Western Horseman, May 1998; American Woodworker; The Silver Bullet; InformArt Magazine, Resource 2000; Chip Chats; Fine Woodworking Magazine; Art of the West, Sept-Oct. 2011, “The Studio of Bill Churchill.”

California Carvers Guild; National Wood Carvers Assoc.; San Diego Fine Woodworkers Assoc.


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