Marfa Dialogues


Ballroom Marfa Community Cocktail Hour

WT1A4312 Photo by Alex Marks

Ballroom Marfa invites the community to join us at The Capri in Marfa on Thursday, April 21 from 6-7pm for drinks and conversation. The Capri will be unveiling a specially-prepared cocktail for the occasion, and they’ve generously offered to get the first round of drinks for current, renewing and first-time Ballroom members.

This gathering is free and open to the public, and we would love to take this opportunity to welcome you in person as a member of Ballroom Marfa.

Ballroom Marfa needs you. Your support allows us to continue to bring invigorating visual art, performance, music, and film to our remote high-desert community. Contributions from Ballroom members allow us to host banner weekends like After Effect and Marfa Myths, as well as intimate programs such as last year’s Desert Surf Films series and this weekend’s free Bitchin Bajas show. Members also enable Ballroom commissions, such as Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance, the next installment in Graham Reynolds’ Marfa Triptych.

Your enthusiastic participation at our events is a huge part of this support, but your financial contributions are also crucial to our efforts. Sign up for a Ballroom Marfa membership anytime online, or call us at 432.729.3600.

See you at The Capri next Thursday as we raise our glasses to you, the people who make all of this possible!

Fairfax Dorn in San Antonio Magazine


In advance of Artpace San Antonio’s annual fundraiser honoring Ballroom Marfa co-founders Fairfax Dorn and Virginia Lebermann, Fairfax talks with San Antonio Magazine about her lifelong connection with art in Texas …

Almost two years ago, Dorn transitioned from executive director of Ballroom Marfa to artistic director, and returned to New York City. She married art executive Marc Glimcher and still travels to Marfa regularly. And though she has been enjoying more family time, she said she misses home. “I think about Texas all the time. I miss all the aspects of it: the birds, the grass, the relaxed nature, even the experience of art is just different there.”

Keep reading in San Antonio Magazine.

Ballroom Co-Founders Honored at Artpace Gala

ArtPace Gala 2016

Ballroom Marfa co-founders Fairfax Dorn and Virginia Lebermann will be honored at Artpace San Antonio’s The Happening, their annual fundraising gala and 21st Birthday celebration. From Artpace

Raise a glass to Artpace’s 21st Birthday at its annual fundraising event, The Happening, hosted by Co-chairs Anna Wulfe and Christopher C. Hill. The 21 Club Speakeasy Happening will celebrate Artpace’s coming of age with drinking, dining, and dancing ‘til dawn.


Artpace is proud to honor Fairfax Dorn and Virginia Lebermann, the visionary founders of Ballroom Marfa, who have worked to elevate Texas and Texas artists in the international contemporary art arena. Dorn and Lebermann transformed a 1920s-era dancehall into a dynamic, contemporary cultural arts space where varied perspectives and issues are explored through visual arts, film, music, and performance.

Find tickets and more info at Artpace.

Dan Colen Talks Cloud Paintings on The Dinner Party Download


Listen to Dan Colen talk about his contributions to our After Effect group exhibition on The Dinner Party Download, and read highlights from the interview below and on their website

What I’m trying to kind of accomplish is maybe transcend the image a little bit through the material and the way I apply it. They’re sprayed oil. It’s traditional artist oil paint, but it’s sprayed in many, many, many layers. And there’s really nothing that speaks to any kind of, like, illusionistic deep space.

So, the clouds and the sky, on quick glance, you see them reading like the clouds in front and the sky in back. But when you actually spend a little time with it, there’s really no space implied. And so they’re kind of on one plane. So, it has an abstract quality, and the material is like, kind of first and foremost.

Find lots more over at the Dinner Party Download!

Graham Reynolds and Shawn Sides in the Austin Chronicle


Graham Reynolds and Shawn Sides discuss their upcoming project, the final chapter in the Ballroom Marfa-commissioned ‪Marfa‬ Triptych in the Austin Chronicle

AC: What’s it like working together professionally?

Reynolds: In that first show, Jason [Neulander] was the boss. And in all the Rude Mechs shows, Shawn’s been the boss. And now we’re doing Pancho Villa for Ballroom Marfa, which she’s directing.

AC: So it’s not just a music performance, it’s a whole … ?

Reynolds: It’s a chamber opera, staged, the whole thing. And Shawn’s directing. But, for the first time, essentially, I’m sort of the boss of that one.

AC: So what’s the dynamic like there? Difficult? Enjoyable?

Sides: It’s very enjoyable, I enjoy it very much.

Read the full article in the Austin Chronicle.

The Marfa Triptych: Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance premieres at the Crowley Theater here in Marfa on November 11 and 12. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for soon-coming information on tickets and more. Read more about the project here.

Join Ballroom Marfa Today!

The opening of After Effect, March 11, 2016. Photo by Luis Nieto Dickens. Arturo Bandini’s Vapegoat Rising, 2016
After Effect opening reception
Photo by Luis Nieto Dickens

Greetings from Marfa,

As the executive director of Ballroom Marfa, I want to extend immense gratitude to all of our members, partners, patrons, supporters and neighbors for making our Marfa Myths festival and the reception for Ballroom’s spring exhibition, After Effect, such a rousing success. Our town was overwhelmed with positive energy and a tremendous celebratory atmosphere. And now we need your help to make sure that we can do it again.

Join Ballroom Marfa today and become a key part of the incredible programming that we have planned for 2016-2017. Whether you’re joining for the first time or renewing your membership, your support makes these profound cultural happenings possible.

Mary Lattimore performing at Wrong Marfa, March 11, 2016, Marfa Myths. Photo by Alex Marks. Mary Lattimore at Wrong Marfa
Marfa Myths
Photo by Alex Marks

Ballroom Marfa’s upcoming calendar includes a fresh exhibition from Arturo Bandini in the Ballroom courtyard, an inventive expansion of our Artists’ Film International program, and a new public art installation from Haroon Mirza as part of Strange Attractor, an upcoming group exhibition. And in the fall Graham Reynolds returns with the third and final chapter in the Ballroom-commissioned Marfa Triptych, a chamber opera inspired by Pancho Villa.

Your membership is vital to Ballroom Marfa’s future, allowing us to keep our momentum and expand our vision. Memberships also include special gifts at every level.

Click here to renew your Ballroom Marfa membership, or to become a member for the first time today. And once again, heartfelt thanks from all of us at Ballroom for being such a huge part of these phenomenal programs.

With tremendous gratitude, 

Sutton Signature
Susan Sutton
Executive Director

Marfa Myths 2016 Wrap-Up

Marfa Myths 2016: What an insanely beautiful weekend. Thank you to everyone for making Marfa Myths so epic! Big love to Mexican Summer, and all of our amazing partners and local heroes that worked so hard to create an amazing experience. Here are some snapshots from the weekend, courtesy of Alex Marks and Luis Nieto Dickens, and check out this year’s Polaroid series here. More photos and full shout-out after the jump. Until next year!

William Basinski performing at the Arena at The Chinati Foundation, March 12, 2016. Photo by Alex Marks.
William Basinski performing at the Arena at The Chinati Foundation, March 12, 2016. Photo by Alex Marks.

Hailu Mergia performing at El Cosmico, March 11, 2016, Marfa Myths. Photo by Alex Marks.
Hailu Mergia performing at El Cosmico, March 11, 2016, Marfa Myths. Photo by Alex Marks.

Mary Lattimore performing at Wrong Marfa, March 11, 2016, Marfa Myths. Photo by Alex Marks.
Mary Lattimore performing at Wrong Marfa, March 11, 2016, Marfa Myths. Photo by Alex Marks.

Fred and Toody at Lost Horse, March 10, 2016, Marfa Myths. Photo by Alex Marks.
Fred and Toody at Lost Horse, March 10, 2016, Marfa Myths. Photo by Alex Marks.

Dan Colen and Susan Sutton at the opening of After Effect, March 11, 2016. Photo by Alex Marks.
Dan Colen and Susan Sutton at the opening of After Effect, March 11, 2016. Photo by Alex Marks.

Heron Oblivion, performing at the opening of After Effect, March 11, 2016. Photo by Alex Marks.
Heron Oblivion, performing at the opening of After Effect, March 11, 2016. Photo by Alex Marks.


Marfa Dialogues/Houston Full Schedule Announced

pollinators2 Sarah Rara, still from The Pollinators, 2014. Video with sound. 65 minutes
Sound by Luke Fischbeck

Ballroom Marfa, FotoFest International, and the Public Concern Foundation present the fifth Marfa Dialogues as part of the FotoFest 2016 BiennialChanging Circumstances: Looking at the Future of the Planet. Marfa Dialogues/Houston is a three-day symposium that considers the scale of climate change from the perspective of artistic practice, public policy, critical theory, and environmental science. All events are free and open to the public. 
Marfa Dialogues was conceived in 2010 by Ballroom Marfa Artistic Director Fairfax Dorn and Hamilton Fish of the Public Concern Foundation with the aim of bringing together artists, scientists, writers, and critical thinkers to consider a range of social issues, from immigration to the environmental crisis. Marfa Dialogues has taken place in Marfa, Texas; New York; St. Louis, Missouri; and now Houston, Texas.
The mission of Marfa Dialogues is to discover new perspectives on social issues by examining them through the lens of artistic practice. Marfa Dialogues/Houston brings together participants from diverse fields, continuing the program’s open and creative approach to some of the most pressing issues of our time.
THURSDAY, MARCH 24 – Menil Collection
7:00 pm 
Introductions by Menil Collection Interim Director Thomas Rhoads & Ballroom Marfa Executive Director Susan Sutton

7:15 pm              
Keynote address by Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr.

7:45 pm
Performance by Lucky Dragons
6:30 – 8:30 pm
“Imaging Futures”
Panel discussion with scientists Dr. Trevor Williams, Dr. William Stefanov and artists Jamey Stillings and MPA. Moderated by FotoFest Executive Director Steven Evans. “Imaging Futures” will coincide with MPA’s solo exhibition, THE INTERVIEW: Red, Red Futureon view at CAMH.
SATURDAY, MARCH 26 – Museum of Fine Arts Houston
1:00 pm              
“Inundation and Desiccation: On the Edge in America”
Matthew Coolidge and Aurora Tang of the Center for Land Use Interpretation in conversation with Steven Badgett of SIMPARCH.
Short video: The Center for Land Use Interpretation, Houston Petrochemical Corridor Landscan, Texas, 2008. HD Video, 14 minutes 12 seconds. Courtesy the Center for Land Use Interpretation. Commissioned by the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston.
2:15 pm              
“Metabolic Landscapes”
Conversation between Dr. Geof Rayner, environmental justice advocate Juan Parras, and artists Gina Glover and Dornith Doherty.
Short video: Sarah Rara, excerpt from The Pollinators, 2014. Video with sound, excerpt 10 minutes; TRT 65 minutes. Sound by Luke Fischbeck. Courtesy of the artist.
4:15 pm
“From Hyperlocal to Hyperobject: Art, Ecology, and OOO”
Professor Timothy Morton in conversation with artist Mandy Barker. Moderated by author Erik Davis.
Short video: Rachel Rose, Sitting Feeding Sleeping, 2013. HD Video, 9 minutes and 49 seconds. Courtesy the artist and Pilar Corrias Gallery. 

The Menil Collection
1533 Sul Ross St, Houston, TX 77006
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
1001 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
5216 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006

Marfa Myths 2016 Polaroids by Alex Marks

As part of Ballroom Marfa’s music program, photographer Alex Marks takes Polaroids of all of our visiting musicians. The tradition is six years strong (you can see a spotty history here), and it continued beautifully with this year’s Marfa Myths. Many thanks to Alex Marks for his wonderful work (read more about him on his website), and see last year’s Marfa Myths Polaroids here.

Hailu Mergia, Marfa Myths 2016. Photo by Alex Marks.
Hailu Mergia, Marfa Myths 2016. Photo by Alex Marks.

William Basinski, Marfa Myths 2016. Polaroid by Alex Marks.
William Basinski, Marfa Myths 2016. Polaroid by Alex Marks.

No Age, Marfa Myths 2016. Polaroid by Alex Marks.
No Age, Marfa Myths 2016. Polaroid by Alex Marks.


A Chat with REAL NEWS, Marfa Myths artists-in-residence

REAL NEWS on Campus
REAL NEWS on Campus

REAL NEWS began as a monthly broadsheet in September 2012, written and distributed in Marfa, TX by two (now expat) Marfa residents Rosa McElheny and Hilary duPont. McElheny and duPont are back this spring to write, edit, design, produce and distribute their fourteenth issue during Marfa Myths.

Combining journalistic intrigue, grass-roots reporting, idiosyncratic graphic design and a for-us-by-us approach to local gossip, Real News is regarded by its readership as brilliant, and by its West Texas audience as genius. They turn their distinctive editorial voice towards subjects including popular culture, internet phenomena, local events, and the weather. In an age of digital media, Real News thrives as an exclusively non-commercial, print-only publication, available for free at local venues, or by complimentary subscription.

real news

McElheny and duPont, who collectively resided in Marfa for 9 years, were lovingly described by Ballroom Marfa’s communication director Daniel Chamberlin as “a chill tribe of high desert hedonist cognoscenti intent on pursuing the good life of mind-expanding art, dank-ass nugs, frosty brews and drama-free make-out sessions.”

Obviously, we could think of no better candidates for the Marfa Myths artist residency. A brief interview with the duo:

1. how old are you?
H: i am 30, which is apparently still old enough to live like a college kid.
R: haha im 28 but im very mature

2. where do you live now?
H: West Philadelphia. a cool new place for me with the best cheap food ever.
R: New Yawk City–

3. how long did you live in marfa?
H: almost 7 years, which was a cool way to spend most of my 20s (except for that the desert definitely advanced my wrinkles y’all.)
R: 1 year, 8 months. long enough to completely embrace the idea that you should drive as fast as possible.

4. who do you miss most in marfa?
H: this is a tricky question to answer because some of my best friends on earth live there (not gunna list because the fear of leaving someone off, but i trust YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE (Riley Ooo), but also I miss EVERYONE. (sometimes even the people who annoyed me when I lived there!)
Sometimes it is so cool to go to the grocery store and buy my mac & cheese without seeing anyone i know, but sometimes its good to see someone and feel guilty so you have that accountability to prevent you from buying the mac & cheese PLUS the ice cream. ya know?

R: but in new york you can get mac &cheese cream at any time of day, delivered!