The Arts in Marfa
A Cultural Hotspot With International Influence
Quite simply, art in Marfa is what put this town of 1,800 on the map. Marfa is a place for creatives. For performers, for painters, for photographers. For filmmakers, for musicians, for meditators. For those that make art and for those that appreciate it. Marfa is a quiet destination in the Big Bend region of Texas that gives you the space and a slower pace to contemplate art. Marfa’s internationally-renowned art scene is inextricably linked with this iconic landscape.
In the 1970s, New York minimalist Donald Judd discovered Marfa’s enchanting terrain beneath a large cerulean sky. He purchased several buildings for art installations, forever solidifying Marfa as a global art community. Today, you can visit Donald Judd’s buildings (at the Chinati Foundation and Judd Foundation) and tour his large-scale architecture projects, paintings and designed furniture, alongside other artists’ exhibitions.
As you walk through town, you’ll encounter numerous Marfa art galleries inviting you in to discover local, national and international talent. There’s great depth in the type of exhibits you’ll see: textiles, paintings, photographs, performance pieces, mixed media, sound and light. This is a place to expand your thoughts and appreciation of the arts. Know that some galleries are by appointment, but don’t be shy—call ahead, they want you to visit. Resources like the Marfa Gallery Guide and Big Bend Galleries and Artists will help you plan your tour of the many galleries.
Marfa art museums and spaces like Ballroom Marfa dare you to think big, even in a place that celebrates minimalism. And they provide the perfect place for an art retreat in Marfa. They showcase socially-relevant works that present the world from a different angle. Marfa art galleries pay homage to the unflagging allure of traditional Western art and mythology. They are always full of surprises. Consider planning your visit around the many Marfa art festivals throughout the year.
Art in Marfa won’t tell you what to think, but it might get you thinking.