The committee for The James Surls
Center for Visual Art has made the decision to not continue with the
Carbondale Branch Library space for the project, according to a press

“We are extremely appreciative of the
town’s support of our project and the process to get us to this
point,” said Jim Calaway, the driving force behind the Surls
Center. “After doing our due diligence over the last few months,
including getting the library location re-zoned, conversations with
potential donors and a true evaluation of the capabilities and
limitations of the space, we realize that the center needs a larger
building with options for growth and education, and a bigger
footprint for parking,” Calaway continued.

“I have been honored to have Jim
Calaway behind this project,” said James Surls, “and we are
excited to be evaluating some other land options right here in the
midst of Carbondale that will still bring tourists and art lovers to
our community as well as fulfill my dream of expanded art education
for all ages.”

James Baker, the lead architect on the
project, said “We are looking at locations that will provide easy
access for bikers and walkers from town, provide plenty of parking
for art shows, education programs and special events, in addition to
adequate space for exhibit delivery and pick up. We will be able to
design a much larger building from the ground up that will function
better for art display and education than retrofitting the existing
library building.”

Surls added, “We are really committed
to being in Carbondale, and our donors want to see us owning our land
and building so we can be a presence here long into the future. In
addition, the release of the library space will allow another entity
to bring something unique to our town.”

Surls is an internationally known
sculptor with a studio on Missouri Heights. Originally from Texas, he
and his family moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in the 1990s.