Founding Artist and Executive Director
Ruby Surls is a community visionary, visual and performance artist, writer, and poet. Her larger goal for world transformation is to launch Splendora Gardens into an internationally acclaimed artistic and environmentally protective space for the Piney Woods of East Texas and its native flora and fauna; where dialogue between community, art, and environmental activism happens.
She is the fourth daughter of the two artists who first carved out a home and artistically focused working space in Splendora Texas. Born in 1979 into the spiritual center of the still developing Houston art’s scene of the late 70’s and early 80’s, Surls was awash in alternative modes of expression from her conception and throughout her childhood and formative years of early adulthood.
Growing up on the property of Splendora Gardens, she was in love with the land before she knew there was any other way to be. She used this love of the land as her minor focus in college, along with her primary focus of historical food based social justice issues. This allowed her to hone in on the land’s past as well as it’s future, giving her a unique perspective of how it can be a major part of transforming the landscape of the surrounding local community and the larger artistic community in both Texas and the world.
Utilizing her past work in baking and the restaurant industry, and her subsequent health issues of multiple food and chemical sensitivities, as a springboard of re-educating herself on both food equality and environmentally focused community building, Surls has used the project to re-envision the local landscape through the potential of the arts, environmental conservation, and biodynamic gardening. Combining that with her familial history of a deep rooted love of the arts and the artistic community still thriving in Houston and Texas today, she has created an ambitious project encompassing the two. Thus was Splendora Gardens born into being. Now, with the full support of the original artistic founders as well as local community members, she is directing the project towards artistic community-building, exploration, and support as well as land conservation and healthy food equality for all.