James Surls (b. 1943), born in East Texas, is an American artist and art educator whose work ranges from pencil drawings and prints to monumental steel and bronze sculptures. He attendedSam Houston State College and the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has been in the forefront of the contemporary sculpture scene for decades and has exhibited the Whitney Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center and the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as numerous international venues and Texas museums. He is the recipient of Texas Artist of the Year Award and a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship. The artist is also one of the founders of the Lawndale Alternative Space for art in Houston, Texas.