Ballroom Marfa Art Fund
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Tierra. Sangre. Oro. Adobe Workshop

13 Nov 201814 Nov 2018


Marfa, Texas

Ballroom Marfa hosted Tierra. Sangre. Oro. Adobe Workshop, an education program for Marfa Independent School District high school students. This adobe brick-building workshop was led by artist Rafa Esparza, and gave students from our community the opportunity to engage in a creative process steeped in regional history. Esparza’s program opened new channels of expression, encouraged understanding and pride in Borderlands cultural heritage, and further illuminated the traditional practice of adobe brick-making.

Esparza uses the process of building adobe bricks as a tool to investigate culture, labor, ecology, and politics. The use of adobe has a long history in the Texas/Mexico border region where Ballroom is based. The public nature of Esparza’s process – and the community effort that he engages to create the building blocks of his installations – was a unique opportunity to produce new work that bears distinct ties to our region. During the workshops Esparza presented his history with adobe brick building and its significance to the cultural heritage of the Southwest. Esparza also offered an overview of the materials used in the brick building process.

The program also included a day of adobe brickmaking with high school students at MISD. After drying, the bricks were transported to the Ballroom Marfa gallery for installation. Students were invited to install this work, and explore the Tierra. Sangre. Oro exhibition.