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A Gift From The Bower is an outdoor, multidisciplinary art exhibition within natural galleries formed by small clearings in the woods of Southeast Texas. Originally conceived by artists James Surls and Charmaine Locke, the project is co-curated by Jack Massing and Xandra Eden to include newly commissioned works by fourteen artists and artist teams. Each of the artworks is being created in collaboration with musicians, performers, and writers to create a unique experience in nature. 

A Gift from the Bower is presented by DiverseWorks and the Locke Surls Center for Art and NatureAs implied by its title, A Gift from the Bower has its starting point as a view of nature as a restorative, benevolent source. As the world experiences the unprecedented impacts of climate change, aspects of the flora and fauna of the grounds of LSCAN take a central role in a number of the artists’ works, while others focus on community, the environment, and our relationships to nature and land. 

A Gift from the Bower features new work created by multiple generations of artists, including Leticia R. BajuyoSusan Budge and George TobolowskyJohn CalawayCarlos Canul and Rachel GardnerLina DibAlton DuLaneyRonald L. JonesSharon KoprivaCharmaine LockeJack MassingSherry Owens and Art ShirerPatrick RennerKaneem Smithand James Surls.

Collaborating sound artists, musicians, and performers include Chris Becker, Aaron Bielish, Anthony Bob, Sammy Butts, Laura Calaway, Marilou Mariko Carrera, Stephanie Darling, Aralee Dorough, Colin Gatwood, Corin Gatwood, Joshua Gottlieb-Miller, the Filipinx Artists of Houston, Kendra Greene, Dickie Landry, Patrick Moore, Violet Moon, Elizabeth Cummins Munoz, Rick Paulson, Scott Peck, the Punctuations, Guadalupe Rocha, Redbud Yoga Group, Malcolm Smith, Toussaint St. Negritude, Ruby Surls, and Transitory Sound and Movement Collective featuring Lynn Lane.

above: Locke Surls Center for Art and Nature @ Splendora Gardens

A Gift from the Bower Opening Weekend is supported in part by an Arts Respond Grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts.

In-kind support is received from Saint Arnold Brewing Co. and Trailers of Texas.

Media support provided by Sculpture Magazine and Arts + Culture Texas.

On View:

April 29 – October 28, 2023
Saturdays, 11 am – 4 pm, or by appointment

Opening Reception:


Saturday April 22, 2023 | 11 am – 7 pm
Sunday April 23, 2023 | 11 am – 7 pm

Performances each day – view opening weekend details and performance schedule here


Free, $10 suggested donation


Locke Surls Center for Art and Nature @ Splendora Gardens
26041 Midline Rd
Cleveland, TX 77328 

LSCAN is a smoke-free environment. No smoking anywhere on the grounds.

Additional Information:


A Gift from the Bower is made possible through the support of the following sponsors and donors:

Cat Spring Collection
Independent Financial
George & Julie Tobolowsky Family Fund

John & Joni Ballis
David & Betty Jo Bell
Karen & Robert Duncan
Marc & Kathryn LeBaron
J.R. McDougal Designs
Steve & Isha Santamaria
Heidi Vaughan Fine Art

Jereann Chaney
Alycia & Kevin M. Clark
Mahenou & Omer Ilahi
Itchy Acres Gardens & Art
Kirk Hopper Fine Art
Surls Girls
Rob & Tara Tomicic
Lauren & JW Turner

Surpik & Paolo Angelini
Jeff Beauchamp
Lee & Paul Michaels
Leigh & Reggie Smith
John and Stephanie Smither Visionary Fund, in memory of John and Stephanie Smither
Emily Todd
Lillian & Bob Warren