Josh Wykes: Talented Artist and Great Friend

March 30, 2016 By vincent-uribe

As I think of my friend Josh I think of a talented artist who cared deeply for his community; a man who faced adversity with determination and grace. You could always count on Josh to be by your side to celebrate your successes and to pick you up with a hug when things got tough. His artwork, much like him, was bright, vivid, fun, and brought happiness to those in its presence.When I started at The Arts of Life I was a bit out of my element and working hard to gain the respect of the community. Lucky for me, I soon develop a deep bond with Josh. He too was in a bit of a transition in his life, overcoming some personal challenges and working toward developing leadership and trust in the community. That spring we built the studio’s new screen printing program from the ground up. I leaned on Josh a lot as he had some previous experience printing. As a team we worked out the kinks to develop a functional printing workshop. Josh took pride in his printing strengths and happily took the time to teach his peers, being thoughtful in adapting tools and procedures to accommodate all of the artists. Before we knew it we’d become master printers and leaders within our community— our dedication to the project had brought us closer together and fostered our relationships with the whole community. Eventually Josh took over the printing program, training volunteers and interns as well as the new staff overseeing the project. I’ll always fondly remember our hours burning screens while rocking out to Queen, brainstorming print projects, and sharing the joy with our friends when they themselves mastered screen printing. I loved being Josh’s friend and am honored to have gotten the chance to work with him at The Arts of Life. His loyalty and kindness to his friends has forever impacted my approach to community and friendship. I already miss him deeply, but am comforted when I think of his laugh and all of the great times we had together. -Caitlin Law