Hughes is a native Iowan and grew up in Mount Vernon, Iowa. He began his college studies at Cornell College (Mount Vernon, IA) where he majored in Philosophy and was an athlete and member of the cross country and track teams. After an injury halted his running career, Hughes transferred to Buena Vista College (Storm Lake, IA) and graduated in 1992 with a B.S. in both Philosophy and Art. Hughes earned his terminating degree in 1996, an M.F.A. in sculpture from Montana State University (Bozeman, MT).
Some of Hughes’ past sculptural expertise include working as a head foundry-man at Northwest Art Castings (Bozeman, MT), and as a sculpture studio technician for the University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA). As a studio technician for the University of Iowa, Hughes constructed the the bronze casting facilities and led both bronze casting and all major forms of sculpture fabrication projects for students and faculty.
Hughes is currently the President of the Texas Sculpture Group, a chapter of the International Sculpture Center and a Distinguished Professor in Sculpture at The University of Texas at Tyler (Tyler, Texas) where he has been teaching for the last 12 years.
Hughes has an extensive national exhibition record which includes dozens of group and solo exhibitions, public artworks and numerous awards. Hughes also maintains an international presence and some accomplishments include completing an International Artist Residency at the Gullkistan International Residency for Creative People in Laugvartn, Iceland (June 2013) and participating in an international group exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan (March 2015).
Hughes’s work can be found in various public and private collections around the country. Recently, six of his large scale sculptures were acquired to be part of the renowned Hardy Family Art Collection at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, in Farmington, Pennsylvania (August 2017) and he also just completed a major public arts project/commission of a 20+ foot sculpture for the Estancia Estates in Austin, Texas (October 2017).