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In any field, from science and technology to the arts, there is a long-term ebb and flow of creative activity. In the visual arts the creative tide of the last decade has, on a national level, begun to recede as artists search for new directions after the sometimes precious intellectuality of Minimalism.

Major exhibitions have tended to look to the past, even to the far distant past of Egypt or Pompeii, for their subject matter. Smaller exhibitions are frequently organized along regional lines, not necessarily through any coherence of style, but simply because there is more intercommunication among artists on a local or regional level. Historically it is from such groups of artists that new surges of inspiration have often come, as movements have begun small and enlarged to national or international influence.

When James Surls proposed a major survey of Texas artists it seemed only natural to hope that perhaps from such a conflagration of regional artists a new direction for the arts might be generated.


Humans are the luckiest of all the animals, we are the ones who record time.
We mark it by degrees.
We speak of the beginning and wonder of the end.
We believe in mathematics and the power of it times the next power.
We see creation through the prism that bends the color of our past.
To bend light is to see light and seeing light will give us vision.
Where are our visionaries?
Once they stood beside Kings and were doorways to tomorrow.
Art of today is the culture of tomorrow.
One of the principal components of art is balance, which means that art has to have balance.
Art is a system or order, stopped in time for all to see.
Art tells the truth, it will not lie.
David Smith said, "You can read the facets of an object as though they were the pages from a book."
Of course you must understand the alphabet.
We as artists have our own alphabet. With it we construct a visual language.
There is no reason to create an image just for the sake of creating an image.
One of the principal components of art is message. Art with no message is not art.
We must have rhymes, rhythms and patterns, for they give us order.
In them we find the structure of our societies.

James Surls