James Surls was born on April 19th, 1943 in Terrell, Texas. Surls is an internationally recognized artist and one of the most preeminent living artist in the United States.
He graduated from Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1966 and from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1968. He taught at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX from 1968 to 1976. He then moved to Splendora, TX with his wife and artist-Charmaine Locke. He lived in Splendora a little over 20 years. While there he founded the Lawndale Alternative Arts Space at the University of Houston in the late 70’s. Lawndale was a thriving artist community where he continued to teach and encourage and, where he produced a large body of work. Surls currently resides and has his studio in Carbondale, CO. He has lived in Carbondale, CO since 1997.
His sculptures, drawings and prints, which reflect his unique sensibility to natural forms, are in major art museums and public and private collections throughout the world, including: the the Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City; The country of Singapore; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Smithsonian American Art Museum, DC; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.