Current Exhibits

James Surls: Across the Universe Divide

July 7 – September 29, 2018

Born in East Texas in 1943, James Surls graduated from Sam Houston State Teachers College (now Sam Houston State University) in 1966 and received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1968. He taught at Southern Methodist University in Dallas from 1969 to 1976 before moving to Splendora, Texas. There he lived with his wife, Charmaine Locke, for over twenty years. They relocated to the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado in 1997. 

Surls is a distinguished sculptor working with bronze, steel, and wood. The artist turns to his mind’s eye to visualize the universe. Straddling the physicality of the landscape around him in which he inhabits with the spirituality of the space within him, Surls is an artist across the universe divide creating the world around us in a manner that expresses his freedom from the physical.

His first exhibition in Utah, SUMA will feature more than 50 works of art created after 2006, with some work as recent as 2018.

James Surls (U.S., b. 1943)
White Raw Wall Flower, 2014
Wood and steel, 69 x 96 x 18 in.
Loan from artist, 2018

Othello in Black and White

July 7 – October 13, 2018

Othello in Black and White exhibition logo

Race and class. Ambition and commitment. Justice and mercy. Perception and deception. Loyalty and betrayal.

Othello was most likely written in 1603, the same year as Hamlet, and was performed on 1 November 1604, which places it within the early career of William Shakespeare (c. 1564-1616). The characters, setting, and action in the play are not original. Like many writers of the time, Shakespeare borrowed heavily from existing work. This play is based directly on Un Capitano Moro, “A Moorish Captain,” published in 1565 by Italian writer, Cinthio Garaldi. Shakespeare created his title character as an honorable man, rather than Garaldi’s angry, abusive gure and directly counter to common sentiments. Shakespeare’s play was rst published as a Quarto in 1622, several years after his death. It appeared in slightly longer form in the
First Folio of 1623 and has since appeared in every collection of the Works.

William Shakespeare wrote plays more popular with theater goers, but few of them ask harder questions of modern readers. Should family and society impose their external values on the individuals in a marriage? What is the place of trust and loyalty in a working relationship?

The volumes exhibited at SUMA are borrowed from the SUU Matheson Special Collections and the University of Utah to show how Othello has appeared before the public over three of the past four centuries. Collectively, they invite us to still consider those hard questions the play’s story poses to its audience.