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.