Wednesday, August 29, 2012

James Surls

The second annual studio exhibition hosted by James Surls, who has migrated from the thicket of East Texas to the high-altitude of Carbondale, Colorado.

Here's a recent photo of one of my first studio art professors from the long-ago SMU art years, sculptor James Surls. Surls looked like a deep woods mountain man in 1974, and he outraged the entire art faculty by announcing to his Materials and Concepts class, "Everyone in my class gets an 'A' whether they come or not, or what they do. You can even leave if you want to."

 Half the class never came back after that announcement. Most of the survivors didn't quite believe him. Surls made good on his promise and gave everyone an 'A,' much to the disgust of some of the more talented students who felt sleighted after they'd knocked themselves out cranking out superior sculpture projects. It never bothered me. I wanted to learn about art, and getting an easy 'A' wasn't so bad. The seventies was a really different time!

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