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Permanent Collection

Star Flower by James Surls
Star Flower, a 13’ x 13’ x 13’ bronze sculpture, was commissioned by the Irving Arts Center in 2007 and now sits in the Sculpture Garden reflecting pool.

Star Flower is one of three permanent sculptures commissioned by the Arts Center since the development of the Sculpture Garden in 1995.

About the Artist
James Surls is an internationally-renowned artist whose abstract sculptures blend natural forms with powerful archetypal imagery. He was awarded the “Living Legend Award” from the Dallas Contemporary Art Center in 1993, “Texas Artist of the Year” in 1991 and a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in 1979.

His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the Seattle Art Museum and many more.

Surls has showcased his sculptures, drawings and prints in group and solo exhibitions across the country. He’s also been commissioned to create sculptures for prestigious public art spaces, including:
  • 2008 Star Flower, Irving Arts Center, Irving, TX
  • 2008 Falling Flowers, Dechert L.L.P., New York
  • 2008 Black Bird of Paradise, Joan Warren, La Jolla, CA
  • 2002 Eye Flower, Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, Sunset Millennium Project, West Hollywood, CA
  • 1992 Family, collaboration with Charmaine Locke, Mariposa Park, Corpus Christi, TX
  • 1991 Points of View, Market Square Park Project, Houston
  • 1991 To the Point, GTE Telephone Operations World Headquarters at Hidden Ridge, Irving, TX
  • 1988 There Used To Be A Lake, collaboration with poet Robert Creeley, Poets Walk, Citicorp Plaza, Los Angeles
  • 1986 The Brazos Flower, Brazos Center and Arena/Pavilion Complex, Bryan, TX
  • 1979 Pine Flower, Buford TV Inc., Tyler, TX
  • 1978 Sea Flower, Hastings Keith Federal Building, New Bedford, MA

Surls was born in 1943 in East Texas and spent most of his life in the state until moving with his wife Charmaine to Colorado in 1998. He graduated from Sam Houston State in 1965 and from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan in 1968. Following graduation, he taught at Southern Methodist University for ten years until moving south to Splendora, TX where he soon devoted himself full-time to his art.



Fountain Columns by Jesus Moroles
Five large-scale Dakota mahogany granite structures make up the majestic fountain columns.

Each structure is 10’ x 20” x 20”, and they are part of the Arts Center’s permanent collection. The columns have a constant flow of water running down the textured sides.

About the Artist
Jesus Moroles is widely known for his unique creations using granite. He was recently awarded the 2008 National Medal of Arts, presented by President Bush, for his enduring achievements as a sculptor. Moroles received a fine arts degree from the University of North Texas and soon after spent a year in Italy working on his craft. He lives and works in Rockport, Texas. Moroles’ work has been in more than 300 solo and group exhibitions across the country.



Benches by Michael Manjarris
Benches was installed in 1999. They are made of limestone and their smooth surfaces entice patrons to take a moment to sit, relax and enjoy the beauty of the Sculpture Garden.

About the Artist
Manjarris is most recognized for his works using limestone and metal, although he often incorporates other mediums such as rope, clay, dirt, broken glass, cotton and rubble into his works. Manjarris received acclaim for the instrumental role he played in the creation of Mariposa Sculpture Park in Corpus Christi, Texas, which opened in 1992. Most recently, he’s worked with Pete Lundberg to bring monumental sculptures to public spaces in New Orleans as part of his Sculpture for New Orleans project. 



Irving Centennial Mural by Francisco Mendoza and Irving youths
The mosaic mural, permanently housed along the Sculpture Garden wall, was created by 40 Irving youths in 2003-2004 as part of a community development block grant. The mural depicts historic images from Irving’s history. It is made of Venetian glass tile and is 10’ x 66’. This project was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the Artist
Francisco Mendoza, the lead project artist, is a muralist and dedicated art teacher in Chicago. He was a 2002 finalist for the prestigious Golden Apple award for teaching excellence.


03' Politicized Democracy by John Brough Miller
03' Politicized Democracy was donated to the Irving Arts Center by the artist. The sculpture is created from mild steel and is 12'11" x 47."

About the Artist
John Brough Miller (1933-2010) was born in Emerson Township, Michigan. He earned a degree in economics from Central Michigan University and a masters of fine arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1964. Following graduation, he moved to Texas where he taught ceramics and sculpture at Texas Women's University. Miller was also chairman of visual arts and a member of the graduate school faculty at the university.

Miller's medium of choice was steel, and he's created monumental sculptures for institutions across the United States, including the Visual Arts Center in Denton, Texas; Texas Women's University; Hall Office Park in Frisco, Texas; Dallas Public Library; Abilene Fine Arts Museum; Miami Financial District; Kilroy Airport in Long Beach; Los Angeles International Airport; and more.