Ballroom Marfa Art Fund


Mary Weatherford on “Agnes Pelton and the American Transcendental”

19 Jun 2016

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 3.49.29 PM Ballroom Marfa recently hosted a lecture by artist Mary Weatherford, “Agnes Pelton and the American Transcendental” to complement After Effect, the current exhibition on view in Ballroom’s galleries. The lecture took place at the Crowley Theater in Marfa, TX on May 21, 2016. A painter herself, Weatherford speaks here on the work of Agnes Pelton, a member of the historical Transcendental Painting Group active in New Mexico in the 1930s and ’40s.
The Transcendental Painting Group’s manifesto identifies their aim as carrying “painting beyond the appearance of the physical world, through new concepts of space, color, light and design, to imaginative realms that are idealistic and spiritual” in an effort to “widen the horizon of art.” Watch Weatherford’s lecture below or visit Ballroom Marfa’s Vimeo page.

Arturo Bandini at Ballroom Marfa

17 May 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 12.47.17 PM Vapegoat Rising, the micro-exhibition from Los Angeles-based artist collective Arturo Bandini, is only on view here in Marfa for a few more weeks, closing on May 29, 2016. Find updated images of the installation on Bandini’s website, and stay tuned for more information about their upcoming micro-exhibition, Dengue Fever, coming to the Ballroom Marfa courtyard on June 3 and on view until August 21. This upcoming program, also part of Ballroom’s ongoing After Effect exhibition, will include work from Kelly Akashi, Marten Elder, John Finneran, S. Gernsbacher, Drew Heitzler, Sarah Manuwal, Calvin Marcus, and Roni Shneior. Do Easy Art Do Easy Art recently spoke with Michael Dopp and Isaac Resnikoff of Arturo Bandini about “the origin of their collaboration and their aspirations for the two-part exhibition” …

Was the desert landscape a big influence on your curatorial decisions?

We used the curatorial premise of the show inside the main gallery space as our organizing principle. Although we did enjoy the idea of imagining our friends works out there in the Texas landscape.

How do the two shows connect to each other? Is the second show a denouement or does it play a counterbalancing role?

Maybe it’s counterbalancing? Mostly we wanted to be able to have two shows. To ephasize that Arturo Bandini functions as a gallery, not a singular installation. It also allowed us to include the works of more people we like. We came up with two shows both reflecting different types of landscape. The first one, Vapegoat Rising, is rock and fog, so it’s a desert show of sorts, but a foggy dessert. The second show is jungle. Dengue Fever, is denser and more colorful. The work is less austere.

Keep reading at Do Easy Art, and find Fredrik Nilsen’s documentation of Vapegoat Rising in our After Effect photo archive.

Agnes Pelton and the American Transcendental

2 May 2016

Pelton-Ascent-aka-Liberation-1946-519x794 Agnes Pelton
Ascent (aka Liberation), 1946
Oil on canvas
32 x 21 inches
Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York Ballroom Marfa Presents
“Agnes Pelton and the American Transcendental”: A lecture by artist Mary Weatherford
May 21, 2016 at The Crowley Theater in Marfa, TX
Doors at 6pm, lecture at 6:30pm
Ballroom Marfa presents a lecture by artist Mary Weatherford, “Agnes Pelton and the American Transcendental”, to complement After Effect, the current exhibition on view in Ballroom’s galleries. As a painter herself, Weatherford is particularly interested in the work of Agnes Pelton, a member of the historical Transcendental Painting Group active in New Mexico in the 1930s and ’40s, and will lecture on Pelton’s work, milieu and historical context. The Transcendental Painting group’s manifesto identifies their aim as carrying “painting beyond the appearance of the physical world, through new concepts of space, color, light and design, to imaginative realms that are idealistic and spiritual” in an effort to “widen the horizon of art.” The resulting works were created using methods simultaneously scientific and metaphysical. A classically trained painter, Pelton was co-founder, first president, and the eldest and most experienced member of the group. Born in Ojai, California, Mary Weatherford lives and works in Los Angeles. Weatherford earned her B.A. at Princeton University in 1984 and was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program in 1985. She earned her M.F.A.

Ballroom Marfa Community Cocktail Hour

14 Apr 2016

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.

Fairfax Dorn in San Antonio Magazine

8 Apr 2016

112_POI_FairfaxDorn_RyanInzana-7149baca 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

7 Apr 2016

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

5 Apr 2016

IMG_8736-350x350 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,

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25 Mar 2016

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 Dialogues/Houston Full Schedule Announced

21 Mar 2016

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.

The Future is Female: Ballroom Associate Curator Laura Copelin in A+C Texas

17 Dec 2015

Copelin A+C TX

Caitlin Greenwood talks with Ballroom Marfa Associate Curator Laura Copelin about moving from Los Angeles to Marfa, curating in Texas and the future of Ballroom Marfa …

Being in a space run by (mostly) women feels natural to me.

I was mentored by Elsa Longhauser at SMMoA, now Susan Sutton and Fairfax Dorn at Ballroom, even in art school, artists like Barbara Kruger, Mary Kelly, Eve Fowler, Catherine Opie, and Andrea Fraser had tremendous sway over my education. I was just given a shirt by a beloved colleague from the Otherwild shop in Los Angeles that reads “The Future is Female”—it rings true in my experience!


Read the full interview in A+C Texas.