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Hitch a Ride on The Marfa Bullet

West Texas Desert Express from Austin to Marfa
Oct 9-11, 2009

I think I missed the scoop on this one. There may not be any seats available but this looks like a load of fun. Tickets include bevvies! 50 bucks roundtrip. If too late, you Austinites should keep it in mind for next year.

A limited number of first-come-first-serve seats are available on The Marfa Bullet’s maiden voyage! We’ll be riding in style from Austin to Marfa for the 4th Annual El Cosmico Gathering & The Chinati Foundation’s re-opening of Donald Judd’s freestanding works in concrete. Music (Patty Griffin, Ben Kweller, Heartless Bastards & more)Baseball (Austin's Texas Playboys vs Los Yonke Gallos de Marfa)Camping (bonfires under the desert stars)>> The Marfa Bullet’s complimentary road spirits are provided by Tito’s Vodka, Treaty Oak Rum, Sweet Leaf Tea, Zico Coconut Water & Lonestar Beer>> 21+>> $50 Round-Trip Road Fare on The Marfa Bullet (less than your Friday night bar tab)**Buy your tickets here for The Marfa Bullet.

Tonight : Reception for Chinati Artist-In-Residence

Alex Schweder makes art about architecture: the way we inhabit it, the way it inhabits us, and the sometimes porous border between the two. He refers to his work as "performance architecture" in order to emphasize the bodily nature of his objects and installations. Schweder was trained as an architect; he moved into art to better explore his interest in bodies in space and the space in bodies. In the artist's own words, his work investigates "the permeability between buildings and the bodies that occupy them. We construct our built world; it thereafter constructs us as occupying subjects."

Schweder's exhibitions at the Ice Plant and the Locker Plant were designed specifically for those locales, and both invite or allow for the active participation of visitors/viewers. Both exhibitions will be open Thursday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. The Ice Plant will be open again Saturday night from 8:00 to 9:00 PM (and again on consecutive Saturday evenings—October 17, 24, and 31). The Locker Plant will be open this Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

For more information, please contact: The Chinati Foundation

Reception: Julie Speed at Galleri Urbane

Saturday, 6 to 8:30 / Galleri Urbane

Asleep At The Wheel

The big weekend is here, and yes, I have been asleep at the wheel. No excuses; sometimes life just gets in the way.

This may be the best Open House weekend ever. We're looking forward to seeing all our old friends and meeting plenty of new ones.


Tonight: Bon Iver @ Crowley Theater

Ballroom Marfa is proud to present an intimate performance with Bon Iver on October 1st at the Crowley Theater. Bon Iver began as a private escape for musician Justin Vernon, former guitarist and vocalist for DeYarmond Edison. A social hibernation at his father's cabin in rural Wisconsin soon opened a floodgate of creativity that evolved into its own musical entity. Relying simply on his own voice, a Silvertone guitar, his brother's old drumset, and very few other instruments, Vernon used the basic recording equipment he had on hand to develop a series of lushly layered choral sounds backed by the subtle melodic ebbs of his acoustic guitar.
Thursday 1 October 2009 - The Crowley Theater
Doors 8pm, Show 9pm Tickets $2 available at the door.


Various Quaid Nuggets

As I'm sure you know by now, Randy Quaid and wife Evi were busted in Marfa while they were on the run. When is the screenplay going to be ready?

Randy Quaid, wife Evi arrested in Marfa over California hotel bill
Quaid posts bail in Marfa, Texas, an infamous film location
The Quaids' Wild Ride Detours to Civil Court
Law and Hospitality in the Lone Star State [NT Times]
Evi Quaid Makes Statement Against MPD [youtube]
Evi Quaid's Sign in Marfa [youtube]

Marfa Police Department mugshots
(with altered appearances ~ hey, they look like Marfans to me):



The Marfa.Org ®@ŋd¤m‡zЄ®

Art in Marfa, Texas: A New Photography Collective - We are 13 lady photographers from all over the US who decided to get together, form relationships, support one another and create some incredible bonds of friendship.


KRTS Inerviews on the Horizon

The local interview show "TALK AT TEN,” can be heard weekdays live at 10 AM and reprised at 6:30 PM, on KRTS 93.5 FM.

Thursday, July 16: Dancer Molissa Fenley, Marfa Live Arts.
Friday, July 17: Jay Hopler, Lannan Foundation writer-in-residence, Marfa.
Monday, July 20: Hank O’Neal, author of “The Ghosts of Harlem," on jazz music.
Wednesday, July 22: Steve Bickerstaff of Fort Davis on recent Supreme Court decisions.


Marfa Chamber Photo Contest

Get your camera ready! The Marfa Chamber of Commerce announces its first Photography Contest, MAR-FOTO. Everyone is invited to participate.

There are only two requirements:
Photos must be taken within Marfa city limits.
Photos must be taken between August 1 and September 30, 2009.

Guest judges will select winning entries.
Cash prizes will be awarded for First Place in two categories:
Youth, ages 16 and under.
Adult, ages 17 and above. Contest winners will be announced in Marfa on November 7, 2009.

Mar-Foto is sponsored by the Marfa Chamber of Commerce.
For more information, call 432-729-4942 or email


The Gliders Are Back

The annual Texas Glider Rally began on Saturday and continues through April 11. Twenty five glider pilots from around the country will bring their sailplanes to the Marfa Airport to explore thermal and mountain wave soaring. The sailplane pilots will attempt personal best and international soaring badge flights, which qualify a pilot to compete in national soaring contests. The public is invited to visit the Marfa Airport on Hwy 17 to watch the soaring activities.

Burt Compton of Marfa Gliders will coordinate glider rides and flight instruction. For more information, call 800-667-9464 or visit


The Marfa.Org ®@ŋd¤m‡zЄ®

Lance Armstrong Likes Marfa (thanks James F.)
Alisson V. Smith Installation Pics (flickr)

PAUL VILLINSKI @ Ballroom Marfa
Emergency Response Studio
14 March - 16 April 2009
Opening Reception: Saturday 14 March, 3-6pm

Marfa: Restaurant in Greenwich Village
Sheesh. Flattery? They serve a cocktail called a Marfarita!


Smith Captures Marfa Light, Show @ the T-Bird

Works by my favorite photographer of Marfa, Allison V. Smith, will be on display at the Thunderbird starting February 28th, '09. Don't miss the opening which is scheduled for 5 o'clock that day. The show runs all the way 'till May, so be sure to catch it if you miss the opening.


Marfa Citizen Of The Year

Nominate a Citizen, Educator or Business of the Year: The Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations. Do you know an individual or a business that has enhanced the community through meaningful service to Marfa? A teacher who has promoted the education and well being of students in Marfa? Now is your opportunity to have that person or business recognized. Contact the Chamber for nominations. Deadline for nominations is Feb 16.

Candidates must be a member of the community, by either residence or business, who has promoted and/or made a significant contribution to Marfa. Individuals and groups are eligible for recognition.

Deadline is Monday.



Abbott Opens Friday The Thirteenth

This Friday night, the 13th, Galleri Urbane will host an opening for artist John Phillip Abbott. Abbot explains his work, "My paintings proceed organically following the same logic of a dream or memory. I am interested in the space between the psychological associations of memory and consciousness. How are we to reconcile the weight of the past? What is memory? How does it shape our perception?" Read and see more at



Happenings This Week (from the Chamber)

NOW: Nominate a Citizen, Educator or Business of the Year: The Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations. Do you know an individual or a business that has enhanced the community through meaningful service to Marfa? A teacher who has promoted the education and well being of students in Marfa? Now is your opportunity to have that person or business recognized. A nomination form is attached. Deadline for nominations is Feb 16.

Candidates must be a member of the community, by either residence or business, who has promoted and/or made a significant contribution to Marfa. Individuals and groups are eligible for recognition.

NOW: The Jan & Ted Roden Center for Entrepreneurship and the University of Texas of the Permian Basin launch the Permian Basin Family Business of the Year Award. The purpose of the award is to support and promote the contribution of family businesses to our region. Nominations will be accepted through Jan 31. For a business to qualify for the award, the potential must exist for ownership to be passed on to a younger generation and the company must have more than one active family member employed in the organization. For more details – and to download nomination forms – please visit

Friday, Jan 23: Marfa Public Radio KRTS 93.5 Talk At Ten program features translator Jessica Moore. The talk show airs at 10am and is repeated at 6:30pm. At 4:45pm, KRTS presents Financial Feature with John Wotowicz of Marfa.

Saturday, Jan 24: Chicago’s acclaimed Zephyr Dance Company will present the Marfa premiere of Artistic Director Michelle Kranicke’s Just Left of Remote. Inspired by Donald Judd’s minimalist sculptures at the Chinati Foundation, Just Left of Remote explores the tension between the desire to be recognized and the impulse to exist within an isolated world. 8pm at the Goode Crowley Theater. This event is free and open to the public.

Sunday, Jan 25: Musician Sam Watts will perform at the First United Methodist Church of Marfa during the 11am service. All are welcome to attend.

Monday, Jan 26: Tune in to KRTS 93.5 Marfa Public Radio at 10am for Talk At Ten with Lannan Foundation poet Marilyn Nelson.

Tuesday, Jan 27: Marfa Public Radio KRTS 93.5 Talk At Ten features an interview with Mike Davidson of the Brewster County Tourism Council.

Wednesday, Jan 28: KRTS 93.5’s Talk At Ten will interview Mark Guarino on “old-timey” music.

Wednesday, Jan 28: “Partners in Progress Rural Economic Development” roundtable discussions. Representatives from the Texas Dept of Agriculture and the Office of the Governor will host a meeting at Marfa City Hall, Casner Room beginning at 10:30am to discuss local and regional business and economic issues. The purpose of the meeting is to bring together local community and business leaders to discuss local and regional business and economic issues, identify areas of need and opportunities, and learn about resources that can help. You are invited to attend this important meeting.

Thursday, Jan 29: Romi, Omar and Daeryl of Marfa Dance will be interviewed on KRTS Marfa Public Radio’s Talk At Ten.


February 6: The International Women’s Foundation hosts an artists’ reception for a new show BILDWERKE at Building 98 in Marfa. The show features photography by Johannes Wunner and paintings by Sallie McIlheran. The exhibit runs through Feb 14.

February 14: Marfa Studio of Art’s sixth annual Sweet Art Ball at the Hotel Paisano Ballroom. The Ron Thielman High Society Orchestra (back by popular demand) will provide their glamorous big band sound for the evening. Dress is thrift-store-elegante. For information, or to purchase tickets, contact the Marfa Studio of Arts at 432-729-4616.



The Trans-Pecos talk show "TALK AT TEN" is broadcast weekdays at 10 AM on KRTS 93.5 FM; it's replayed weekday evenings at 6:30 PM.

Thursday, January 8: Fonda Ghiardi, of Fort Davis, on horse slaughter.
Friday, January 9: Lewis Hyde, Lannan Foundation writer-in-residence, Marfa.
Monday, January 12: Yvonne Davis, on international relations.
Tuesday, January 13: Cartwright, musicians from Denton, via Austin.
Wednesday, January 14: Local psychiatrist Stuart Crane on geriatrics; also Chinati Foundation artist-in-residence Erik Gongrich, Marfa
Thursday, January 15: artist Erika Blumenfeld of Marfa.

For more information, contact the public radio station at 432-729-4578.


The Marfa.Org ®@ŋd¤m‡zЄ®


Support Chinati

"Chinati is a museum. Or really an anti-museum. Judd figured out more than 30 years ago where American museums were going, and he marched the other way."
Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times

Any donation, be it small or large, will help the museum continue its programs and activities, as well as conserve, research, and exhibit the permanent collection. They'll put your gift to immediate use, wherever the need is greatest. Here are some examples of what your donation could accomplish:

$50 buys art supplies for 2 Marfa students attending next summer's Free Art Classes
$100 covers a week's stipend for one of the museum's invaluable interns
$250 replants an evergreen tree in front of the Arena
$500 prints the announcement card and underwrites the opening reception for an Artist in Residence exhibition
$1000 funds the honorarium for a distinguished symposium speaker
$1500 pays for the framing of 5 Donald Judd drawings for our Fall 2009 exhibition
$2000 covers the cost of distributing the annual newsletter free to museums, universities, and libraries throughout the U.S.
$5000 helps complete the restoration of Donald Judd's 15 outdoor works in concrete in 2009

Download the Annual Appeal Donation Form PDF and mail your gift to the Chinati Foundation, PO Box 1135, Marfa TX 79843, or contact Angela Koester to make a gift by phone or via email: akoester @ chinati dot org, 432-729-4362.


Conor Oberst Rolls Into Town

Rolling Stone's 2008 songwriter of the year, Conor Oberst, will be in Marfa performing at the Goode Crowley Theater.

Conor Oberst became known in the late nineties as the heart and soul of Bright Eyes, an acclaimed indie/folk band known for its creative and moving collaborations. While experimenting with other musical projects, Bright Eyes has been, for all intents and purposes, Oberst's main musical vehicle for the last decade. With the release of his latest album and tour, Omaha’s preeminent singer songwriter has ducked out from under his weighted alias and with the aid of The Mystic Valley Band has reinvented himself.

Oberst will perform a new collection of songs - introspective folk and rock steeped in Americana. Known for the diversity of his work, and often compared to Bob Dylan, Oberst’s musicianship favors immediacy over perfection: he continually constructs verses rather than repeat hooks or write them down, feeling that his songs are never completed.

Always the chameleonic musician, Oberst has switched between punk rock, orchestral pop and squawking electronica on various projects, but Conor Oberst is a treatise on what he does best: folk/rock at its most earnest, introspective, and musically accomplished.

Conor Oberst's new LP was made in Tepoztlán, Morelos, México during the months of January and February, 2008. In Tepoztlán – a place known for Aztec Magic and Extra-Terrestrial Sightings – a temporary studio was created in a mountain villa called Valle Místico at the outskirts of the town. It was there that Oberst and the band lived and worked in near perfect harmony, often unaware of the hour or the day. The result is his first solo album in thirteen years, following Water (1993), Here’s To Special Treatment (1994) and Soundtrack To My Movie (1995).

The Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band performance is presented by Ballroom Marfa and has been made possible by the generous support of C3, Blackmott Productions and Ballroom Marfa Front Row Members.

with The Felice Brothers and RIG 1
Sunday 23 November 2008
Doors 6.30pm, Show 7pm
Goode Crowley Theater
Tickets $20 available on


Election Results on The Dial with Local Spin

KRTS 93.5 FM will be providing election results on local, state, and national races on Tuesday night. Radio coverage begins at 6 PM.

In addition to breaking news and national commentary from NPR News, Marfa Public Radio will be connecting with journalists from: our regional newspapers, as well as Washington Post, New York Times, NBC,,, etc.

Please join them for all-night coverage, beginning at 6 PM.


Open Letter from Marfa Studio of Arts

Dear Friends of Marfa,

The Marfa schools eliminated arts education for children years ago. The lack of arts education is simply not acceptable for a town that is known as an art destination point.

A non-profit organization, MARFA STUDIO OF ARTS, is trying to fill this void. MSA implemented the SITES program which provides arts classes to children at the elementary school level. We hope to expand the program to include additional classes. Providing children with arts education is the sole focus of the organization.

Unfortunately, during our fall fundraiser, MSA received only 36 donations. Because of this, we are reaching out to all friends of Marfa and requesting that people provide a donation. Any amount, even just $10, helps support this program.

MSA has created an endowment fund that provides some revenue for the organization. In addition, MSA has been successful in obtaining grants from various organizations, including the Texas Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Sites program, however, requires additional amounts to help provide for teacher salaries, art materials, etc. It would be great if the school system would have ensured arts education, but it has not. Thus, it is up to the Friends of Marfa.

Reading, Writing and Arithmetic are the core foundation of a child’s education. But art is a key to imagination, optimism and dreams.
Donations can be provided to:
PO Box 1189
Marfa, TX 79843
Malinda Beeman, Director
Vilis Inde, President

The image was created by Mercedes, when she was in the 6th grade program.
An assortment of 4 different cactus cards can be purchased for $10 + shipping. Contact if you are interested.


Friday 31st October 2008
Doors 8.30pm / Show 9pmGoode Crowley Theater
Tickets $10 at the door

Ballroom Marfa is thrilled to bring Brooklyn based noise-rock pop-punk duo, Japanther, back to Marfa for a special Halloween show “The Dancing Mummies Curse”. Supporting them is San Pedro band Killer Dreamer, and Gorgamoth with a small puppet performance of “The Tell Tale Heart”.

Ian Vanek and Matt Reilly formed Japanther in 2001 while at school at Pratt Institute, NY. Since then they have had over sixteen releases with the indie-labels Tapes Records and Menlo Park Recordings, including the full length albums: Leather Wings (2003); Dump the Body In Rikki Lake (2003); Master of Pigeons (2005); Wolfenswan (2005); Don’t Trust Anyone Over Thirty (2006); and Skuffed Up My Huffy (2007). Japanther are currently on tour promoting their newest album release by Wantage USA: Tut Tut Now Shake Ya Butt, which Village Voice featured as one of 10 albums to get excited about this fall: “Vanek and Reilly are the right kind of art-school damaged: impatient, ambitious, visual, interested in spectacle and circumstance.”Vice magazine described Japanther’s sound as “like Iron Maiden, Throbbing Gristle, and Lightening Bolt gave birth to a squealing little baby with flaming guitars for arms. Their shows are chaotic and danger-charged love-fests and they are frighteningly dedicated to keeping it underground”.Neither punk-act nor art-band adequately describe Vanek and Reilly, who play to audiences as diverse as the Art Miami Basel crowd and electronic/indie music festival goers in Juarez. They are known for very original collaborations, among them: Don’t Trust Anyone Over Thirty, a musical rock puppet show with Dan Graham, Tony Oursler, Rodney Graham and Laurent P. Berger; Dump the Body in Rikki Lake, a collaboration with Being John Malkovich puppeteer, Philip Huber; and most recently, Dangerous When Wet, where the duo teamed up with New York University synchronized swimming troupe, Aquadoom. Japanther first performed in Marfa in 2007, debuting “Laugh Dance” with the movement artists Sonya Robbins and Layla Childs.On their current tour, Japanther are joined by Killer Dreamer who are celebrating the release of their latest action zombie punk album, 1,000 Years of Servitude.

Join Ballroom Marfa at the Goode Crowley Theater for a night of super-hard, incredibly fast and eminently danceable punk from two of the independent scene’s most exciting bands. Come dressed for Halloween – door prizes for best costume.


MBco Book Signing: Sasha Watson

Sasha Watson will sign and read from her young adult novel, Vidalia in Paris, at the Marfa Book Company on Saturday, October 18 at 4 p.m.

Vidalia in Paris was released by Viking Press on October 2nd and it tells the story of Vidalia, who wins a scholarship to study art in Paris for the summer. When Vidalia falls in love with an art thief, her plans go awry. Kirkus reviews says, "Watson's supple, low-key first novel distills beautifully the feelings of excitement that a young art student experiences when in Paris for the first time. [She] portrays Paris with a doting accuracy and delineates all the torments of first love."

KRTS Fundraiser and Open House

KRTS, Marfa Public Radio, at 93.5 FM, launches it's second, on-air Fund Drive this Friday, October 17; it will last one week, ending Friday October 24.

The station encourages all listeners to become members during this week. There will be familiar voices, new programs, special prizes, and on-air excitement. Call 800-903-KRTS.

Based in Marfa, KRTS is the regional radio station for the Transpecos, covering a wide range. This local non-profit 501(c)3 is supported by area contributions - both individual members and business underwriters. The station relies on the daily support of dozens of volunteers. KRTS has a Spring and Fall Fund Drive. It's first-ever Fund Drive, the Spring Drive, was a great success; the station added more than 400 members: new and renewing. Through the bi-annual fund drives, members pay for programming from NPR, Radio Bilingue and other news providers and cover the costs of daily operations.

The station will host an Open House on Friday evening, October 17, the first day of the Drive, at 7-9 PM. The public is invited to tour the station, visit with volunteers, and enjoy food, drink, and music.