I was born in east Texas in 1943. I graduated from Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1966 and from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1968. I taught at Southern Methodist University in Dallas from 1969 to 1976. I then moved to Splendora, Texas with the love of my life, Charmaine Locke. We lived there for a little over twenty years. There we went through every emotion that a couple having kids, growing together and as individuals can endure. We’ve lived in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado since 1997 and love it, for a fact.
Along the road I made art and curated shows with the ferocity of a man possessed. I’ve shown with many galleries and at many museums.
I think my proudest accomplishment of all is that I still love my wife after so many years and have seven beautiful daughters and seven amazing grandkids. The next proudest thing is all the solo and group exhibitions, as well as being in the collection of many an amazing museum throughout the world. In particular I would like to highlight the exhibitions: Visions at the Dallas Museum of Art with the catalogue titled, Visions: James Surls, 1974 – 1984. Also, the exhibitions: In the Meadows in 2003 at the Meadows Museum in Dallas, Texas, which was accompanied by the book James Surls – In the Meadows and Beyond and also the show and book titled James Surls – The Splendora Years, 1977 – 1997 in 2005. The most recent is the book titled James Surls: From the Heartland published by The Grace Museum in Abilene, Texas. It’s a real beauty.
At the top of my accomplishment list would also have to be my involvement with the Lawndale Alternative Space in Houston, Texas, where I spent many wonderful years with so many great friends. I am a lucky man.