About The Artist
WILLIAM A. GURA
624 Monmouth Way
Winter Park, FL 32792
William Andrew Gura was born and raised in the small, dirty, steel-town of North
Braddock, Pennsylvania, located to the east of big city Pittsburgh. He is the grandson
of hardworking Czech families that immigrated to America in the late 1800s. There, in
an environment of toil, sweat and tears, his yearn for art developed; an environment
not keen on his interests, but Gura learned to combine his art with work. As a young
man he labored endless hours with his grandfather as a carpenter, mason, steel mill
laborer and a landscaper.
In what little spare time he had, his father (a bus tire repairman), would sit and draw
with him on discarded groceries bags, empty pastry boxes or discarded window
blinds giving him insight to art adventure and enticing him to draw more, do better, and
to pursue his talents.
While in grade school, an aunt had arranged classes for him at the Scaiffe House in
Shady Side, Pa., (a private school for artistic development). During his years in middle
school, he was instructed at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh where he attended
weekend classes under the watchful eye of Mr. J. Fitzpatrick, one of Pittsburgh’s fine
art instructors. In high school he attended both in-school art class and attended
Forbes Trail Vocational/Technical School for commercial art.
After graduating, he had attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh to study photography.
Gura’s intentions were to combine these art skills to become a medical illustrator.
But art was a luxury according to his family... calloused hands were the protocol for his
immigrant upbringing. Needing to get away, he joined the United States Navy for a
“short adventure”...twenty “short” years later he retired from the navy as a highly
decorated Chief Illustrator/Draftsman. His tours included duties in the Navy
Presidential Honor Guard, the Pentagon, Defense Intelligence Agency, U.S. Naval
Communications Station, Iceland, U.S. Central Command, command ship USS Mount
Whitney (LCC-20), and the U.S. Naval Training Center.
Again a civilian, Gura worked a variety of jobs as an independent scenic artist around
the Orlando area until an interest in higher education set in. Attending Valencia
Community College he earned an Associate of Arts degree, and while there he wrote
and illustrated a college level Spanish workbook “Las Desgracias de Poncho y
Bombi”. He was awarded several awards for his writings and artistic contributions to
the “Econoclast”, Valencia’s annual college competitive magazine, and became a
member of the Phi Theta Kappa Society.
Currently, Gura teaches at the Orlando Museum of Art for the children's programs,
conducts private art lessons and is involved with several Home School groups as an
Art Instructor. He also works as an artist/exhibits builder for some local museums and
plans to someday have his own “creative laboratory” where he can study and teach the
dynamics of human anatomy in motion. He lives outside of Orlando with his wife
Dorothy. His three boys, now grown, are busy pursuing there own careers in Culinary
Arts, Engineering and Marketing. He is active in his church, local art groups, is a Vice
President of the Winter Park Pines Home Owners Association and is a former
member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers.