Open Road

This Month in Marfa

Should you make your way out west this month, make sure to check out these unique cultural events and exhibitions that only Marfa can offer.

By Michael Hardy August 3, 2014 Published in the August 2014 issue of Houstonia Magazine

The eastern sky at sunset

Ballroom Marfa 

Thru Aug 10 Sound Speed Marker
This set of three video installations and related photographs by Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler examines the role of film in shaping our perception of the Southwestern landscape. “Giant” explores the decaying sets of the 1956 James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor film, which was partly shot in Marfa; “Grand Paris Texas” is set in an abandoned movie palace in East Texas; and “Movie Mountain (Méliès)” explores the small town of Sierra Blanca in the Chihuahuan Desert, which was used as a film location during the silent era.  

Aug 22 at 6 Artists’ Film International Opening Reception—Nicole Miller
Organized in conjunction with London’s Whitechapel Gallery, this festival’s fifth year spotlights the work of Los Angeles video artist Nicole Miller, whose films and installations use jarring juxtapositions to critically examine African American identity. 

Free. 108 E. San Antonio St. 432-729-3600.

Chinati Foundation

Thru December Zoe Leonard’s 100 North Nevill Street
Leonard is a photographer and sculptor whose work was featured in the Whitney Biennial earlier this year. For this temporary installation, she cut a hole in one wall of a former ice factory in downtown Marfa and installed a custom-made lens, which, like a camera obscura, projects an upside-down image of the scene outside onto an interior wall of the darkened building.

Free. The Ice Plant, 100 North Nevill St.

Lost Horse Saloon

Aug 9 at 9 Ali Holder
Austin singer-songwriter-guitarist Ali Holder has cited influences ranging from Kris Kristofferson to Florence and the Machine; she’s probably one of the few recording artists to have cut an R&B album and an album featuring a fiddler and mariachi trumpets. But any doubts about Holder’s country music bona fides evaporate as soon as you hear her wonderfully twangy voice.

306 E. San Antonio St. 432-729-4499.

Marfa Contemporary

Thru Aug 17 Chuck Webster: Woven with a Silent Motto
Webster creates colorful, seemingly spontaneous drawings featuring abstract, biomorphic forms reminiscent of Paul Klee and Joan Miró—often on unusual media like 19th-century journal pages he buys on eBay or handmade Japanese paper. In addition to those drawings, the exhibition features many of the artist’s lesser-known paintings.

Free. 100 E. San Antonio St. 432-729-3500. 

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