Surls has deep roots in the Houston arts community. Among other endeavors, he taught at the University of Houston and helped create Lawndale Art Center, a nonprofit alternative space for the exhibition of contemporary works in all media, which helped launch Houston as a significant player in the national art scene. He and his wife now live in Colorado.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Mr. Dragon and I headed over to the beautiful Rice University campus to see the seven James Surls sculptures that are visiting for six months. The public exhibition, "Magnificent Seven: Houston Celebrates Surls," features monumental bronze and steel outdoor sculpture, some of which were unveiled and exhibited along New York's Park Avenue last year. Ranging between 750 and 2,200 pounds, the sculptures include Surls' signature forms of flowers, diamonds and eyes. The Rice Public Art Program joined with the Houston Arts Alliance to sponsor the exhibition.
"I like to take things that you see in the natural world and cast them in a new light," Surls said. "I like to make art of the things we see in the natural world that are repeated over and over again, like the spiral -- it's in a baby's cowlick, a blowing seed, the wind."
(Information and quote from Rice University News Media.)