Carver Reception: June 15, 2022 | 6-8 pm
World Champion Wood Sculptor
At the age of thirteen, Joshua began his art career by selling his sculptures to art galleries. By the age of seventeen, he began competing in numerous art competitions around the country where he has won many “best of show” honors. In 2000, Joshua began working on a series of cast reproductions for the Danbury Mint. After graduating from Judson University in 2002 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Communications, he began his own wood sculpting company Guge Art, Inc. He has also taught art at Westminster Christian School in Elgin, Illinois. Josh continues to teach children and adults in his studio, surrounding communities, and around the country.
In 2004, Josh and Bob Guge became co-founders of The Guge Institute and Art Studio. This studio is located in Elgin, Illinois. Guge Institute classes include painting, carving, sculpting, drawing, airbrush, design, and more.
Josh achieved one of his lifelong dreams in 2009, by becoming a World Champion sculptor. He won world titles in both the life-size and miniature divisions at the World Fish Carving Championships. In 2011, Josh became a three-time World Champion sculptor by winning the “Best in World” Lifesize Category at the World FIsh Carving Championship.
I am a 3rd generation wood sculptor born into a family of talented artists. At an early age I learned the art of wood sculpting from my father and grandfather. Roy Guge, my grandfather, started the family tradition by sculpting duck decoys for hunting. My father, Bob became a full-time wildlife woodcarver, a much sought-after teacher, and a five-time World Champion sculptor. After years of apprenticing under my father’s instruction, I developed my own style and love for wood sculpture.
This art form has captured my family because of its uniqueness. The wood sculpture incorporates drawing, wood-carving, 3-D design, sculpting, and painting. The challenge of this art form is mastering these different forms of art.
My sculptures range from primitive decoys to highly detailed realistic depictions. Each piece is carved with the use of high-speed power tools and wood burners. They are hand-painted or airbrushed original works of art. The materials I use are tupelo wood, metals, epoxy, and acrylic paints. My sculptures feature a variety of diverse wildlife, but my passion is for depicting tropical ocean fish and their habitat.
Today I strive to create art that will inspire others. I try to capture the essence of wildlife in my work. My goal is to evoke a mood or emotion. I have a desire to communicate to my audience how God’s creation makes me feel. I want to express the emotion I experience when observing something beautiful in nature. With this form of art, comes an intense love not only for creating but also a lifetime of studying the natural world around me.
Like my father, I have the desire to pass this art form on to others. In the past decade of my life, I have taught hundreds of students all over the country from youth to seniors. I want to expose this unique art form to as many people as possible, giving others the opportunity that I was fortunate enough to grow up with. Maybe someday I will accomplish my goal to see wood sculpture thrive in mainstream art. Until then, I will keep creating and sharing my God-given gift to the next generation of artists.