Ballroom Marfa Art Fund


Artforum: Rafa Esparza on “Browning the White Cube”

28 Nov 2017

Rafa Esparza talks about his Tierra. Sangre. Oro. exhibition with Kate Green at Artforum …

My interest in browning the white cube—by building with adobe bricks, making brown bodies present, and collaborating—is a response to entering traditional art spaces and not seeing myself reflected. This has been the case not only physically, in terms of the whiteness of those spaces, but also in terms of the histories of art they uphold.

Adobe bricks are loaded; they signify brownness, the land, and labor. They also reference my own history: my father’s practice of working with adobe and my experience of adobe brickmaking as a collaborative process. By building with adobe in galleries I am bringing all of this—and the muddy history of American soil, colonization, and progress—into a traditionally white context.

Keep reading in Artforum.

ArtNEWS Interviews Ballroom Marfa’s New Executive Director

14 Nov 2017

Photo: Emma Rogers

ARTnews’ Maximilíano Durón talks with Ballroom Marfa Executive Director and Curator Laura Copelin about her recent promotion and vision for the organization.

Copelin sees Ballroom Marfa, which is located in a converted dance hall from the 1920s, as a continuation of the daring artistic vision that Judd first had for the town. “My vision for Ballroom Marfa is very much a continuation of the spirit of its founding: to create new work that wouldn’t be possible anywhere else,” she said.

Copelin said she will continue to focus on commissioning new work that will “really expand the conversation to include disciplines that aren’t usually included in the contemporary-art conversation,” mainly focusing on the ecological and natural sciences and how they are part and parcel to the rich landscape of Marfa, as well as maintaining an on-going dialogue with the town’s community.

“I like to think about collaboration with the community, as opposed to engagement,” Copelin said. “We have such a rich ground to work with in Marfa, with this incredible creative and cultural heritage. We want to contribute to what’s happening and amplify what’s special about this place, and amplify new work by artists who deserve to have a platform to make art.”

Keep reading at ARTnews.

JD Samson & MEN at the Tierra. Sangre. Oro. Opening

26 Aug 2017

The art/performance collective MEN will join us in the courtyard for the Tierra. Sangre.

Oro. opening reception! MEN is led by LeTigre’s JD Samson and Michael O’Neill. These legendary artists believe in the radical potential of dance music and its power to demand liberties through invention and play. The New York Times describes Samson as “a powerful force at the intersection of lesbian, feminist culture and popular music,” and as someone keeping “the term ‘feminist electro-punk artist’ on the map.” Bitch Magazine says MEN’s 2013 album “is an upbeat, fiery electronic album that you can put on repeat three times in a row and still want to hear again.” They’re traveling to Marfa for their first show in years.
Their set begins at 8:30pm, and is not to be missed. To hear more of their music, visit the JD Samson & MEN Bandcamp page. The performance is free, and open to the public. RSVP on Facebook. The evening will also feature tacos by Vicente Celis, and cold refreshments from Big Bend Brewing Co. and SAVED Wines.

Graham Reynolds and Pancho Villa in the Big Bend Sentinel

11 Nov 2016


Photo by John Daniel Garcia

John Daniel Garcia talks with Graham Reynolds about the inspiration behind his Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance opera for the Big Bend Sentinel

For Reynolds, who majored in Latin American history in college, the addition of Mexican culture was an important factor in choosing the subject of the opera.

“I wanted to dive more deeply into the landscape and the culture of Mexico and the West Texas border,” he said, adding that a trip to Mexico at age 9 sparked a life-long interest and affinity for the culture. “That trip with my parents was transformative. For the opera, we got [Mexico City-based theater collective] Lagartijas Tiradas Al Sol for the libretto. That was really important to me. I needed to have Mexican and Mexican-American collaborators for this project.”

Keep reading at Big Bend Now, and find more information about Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance at The production premieres in Marfa tonight, Friday November 11,

Ballroom’s 2016 Benefit Auction is LIVE!

4 Nov 2016

Rashid Johnson The Crowd, 2016

Rashid Johnson
The Crowd, 2016

As part of our upcoming New York Gala honoring David Byrne and Jill Soloway, Ballroom Marfa and Paddle8 invite you to join us for an in-person and online benefit auction. Online bidding begins TODAY, Friday November 4, 2016, and closes at 10pm on Monday November 14. Bidding on select works will conclude as part of the live auction at the November 14 New York Gala. For details on specific lots, please visit Paddle8. The auction features works by John Baldessari, Larry Bell, Tara Donovan, Sam Falls, Loie Hollowell, Rashid Johnson, Paul McCarthy, Ed Ruscha, Yutaka Sone, Leo Villareal, Mary Weatherford, and more. See full list of available auction items by clicking here. All proceeds from the auction will support Ballroom Marfa as we continue to produce ambitious exhibitions; commission extraordinary works that are site-specific and site-inspired; enable profound cultural happenings and connections; and share the landscape of the Big Bend with a diversity of artists and musicians.
Larry Bell SF 6.16.12A, 2012

Larry Bell
SF 6.16.12A, 2012

Loie Hollowell Lingam Twist in Red and Green, 2016

Loie Hollowell
Lingam Twist in Red and Green, 2016

Mary Weatherford Union Avenue, 2012

Mary Weatherford
Union Avenue, 2012

Leo Villareal Target, 2016

Leo Villareal
Target, 2016

Michael Dopp Untitled, 2016

Michael Dopp
Untitled, 2016

Sam Falls Untitled (Absentee 2), 2013 Sam Falls
Untitled (Absentee 2),

Ballroom Curator Laura Copelin at Frieze

6 Oct 2016

Borderlands : The DesertBallroom Marfa Curator Laura Copelin at Frieze

From seminal Land Art projects like Michael Heizer’s Double Negative and James Turrell’s Roden Crater; to the proliferation of artists’ projects in Marfa, Texas; to Jananne Al-Ani’s films of remote landscapes of the Middle East that have been scarred by war, to Ben Rivers’s most recent project, set in the Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona, the unique and sometimes bizarre landscapes of the desert have served as fertile ground for artists, writers and filmmakers alike. What are the utopian and dystopian qualities of the desert that draw artists over generations? In this panel discussion, curator and writer Shumon Basar discusses the ‘desert imaginary’ with artist Jananne Al-Ani, Ballroom Marfa curator Laura Copelin,


17 Aug 2016

  Don’t miss your chance to see After Effect, a group exhibition on view at Ballroom until Sunday August 21. If you can’t make it out to Marfa, check out this video walkthrough video directed by David Fenster. Ballroom’s next exhibition, This is Presence, part of Artists’ Film International 2016, opens September 23, 2016.

Ballroom Executive Director Susan Sutton in Apiece Apart

2 Aug 2016

apieceapart_marfastories_06C-1 “It’s one thing to spend a long weekend in Marfa,” writes Leigh Patterson in Apiece Apart, “and another entirely to live and work there.” Patterson traveled to Marfa along with stylist Alexa Hotz and photographer Michael A. Muller to interview three Marfa women, including Freda owner Susannah Lipsey, ceramicist Mimi Dopson, and Ballroom Marfa Executive Director Susan Sutton. Sutton holds forth on minimalism, her changing self-perceptions, and other women that she admires. “Going into your fear is the only way forward,” she says.