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Sculptured Statements

Andrew Travers | September 16, 2019 | People

The Texas-bred, Missouri Heights-based sculptor James Surls sent “This Place, Everywhere” from the mountains to North Texas on a tractor-trailer this spring. In May, it was installed in the courtyard at the new downtown Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.


“This Place, Everywhere” was transported from Carbondale and installed at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum this spring, in memory of the Belzacki and Feffer families, and all who perished in the Holocaust.

Over a year in the making at the artist’s local studio, it is “by far my most honored reality check on my life’s work,” says Surls. Measuring 18 feet tall and 14 feet across, the bronze and stainless steel piece is made up of interconnected prisms and triangular shapes with trios of flowers and eyes growing out of them—each flower holding six petals forming a six-sided shape reminiscent of a Star of David. Surls says the symbol’s aim is to acknowledge searing history—the presence of humanity’s darkest moment with us today and of the future ahead. “It is our responsibility to state and restate our personal memory of human history and to express it into the collective future,” Surls wrote in an artist statement. Texas’ greatest living sculptor and the Roaring Fork Valley’s most acclaimed resident artist, Surls is in the midst of an inspired and prolific late-career stretch, which, this summer, also includes permanent installations at Health Science Research Center in Lubbock, another at the new Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, both on the heels of drawing and sculpture exhibitions at Bale Creek Allen Gallery and Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum in Austin.


“Sewing the Future” sits at a roundabout on Highway 133 in Carbondale.


Photography by: “Sewing the Future” photo by Steve Mundinger