Contact: Victoria Winkelman or Kami Duncan
SMU Meadows School of the Arts
(214) 768-3785 or (214) 768-2788

March 25, 2003


DALLAS (SMU) -- Storytelling, artist demonstrations and dance performances highlight "Family Day" at the Meadows Museum on Sunday, April 6 from 1-4 p.m. The event celebrates "In the Meadows: Recent Sculpture, Drawings and Prints of James Surls," the special exhibition on display at the museum through April 20.

Special guest Onis Woodard, the 77-year-old self-taught artist whose woodcarvings are in the permanent collection of Dallas's African-American Museum as well as in many private collections across the country, will be on hand throughout the afternoon to demonstrate his carving techniques for visitors. Like James Surls, Woodard grew up in East Texas working with native wood; unlike Surls, however, Woodard creates on a small scale, usually animals and figures under 24 inches high, and often adds bright and glossy oil enamel paint.

Veteran art, music and theater instructor Mel Davenport will entertain visitors with storytelling in the galleries, and a take-home art activity will offer children of all ages a chance to create their own sculptures using a variety of materials. Visitors are also invited to pick up a museum-provided pad and pencil and join local artist Cynthia Padilla for informal sketching of Surls' 30-foot-tall sculptures on the museum plaza.

Museum docents will lead tours of the permanent collection of Spanish art at 2 p.m. and tours of the Surls exhibit at 1:30 and 3 p.m. Then at 2:30 and 3:30 p.m., dance students from the Meadows School of the Arts will perform "Diamond Sutra," a new work choreographed by dance artist-in-residence Max Stone. "Diamond Sutra," which was inspired by Surls' work and incorporates Buddhist text, will be presented in the museum auditorium.

"In the Meadows: Recent Sculpture, Drawings and Prints of James Surls" is an exhibition of more than 60 works executed within the past several years by Surls, an internationally renowned Texas artist best known for his dramatic large-scale sculptures. Eighteen such pieces, ranging from 4 to 30 feet high, are among the works featured. Using primarily wood and steel, Surls creates colossal pieces incorporating images of flowers, needles, houses, diamonds, knives and eyes. His works symbolize the many forces of nature -- male and female, vertical and horizontal, open and closed, rough and smooth, active and passive.

Admission to all Family Day activities, except the guided tours of the Surls exhibition, is free. Admission to the Surls exhibition is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors 60 and older and $3 for children 3-12. The Meadows Museum is located at 5900 Bishop Blvd. on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Parking is available in the museum's underground garage. Museum hours are 10-5 Mon., Tues., Fri. and Sat.; 10-8 Thurs.; and 1-5 Sun. The museum is closed Wednesdays and holidays. For more information, please call the museum at 214.768.2516.