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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.

Marfa Myths Highlights, Photos + Thanks

15 Mar 2017

Marfa Myths 2017: Holy cow! We can’t believe it really happened — a year in the making and over in a magical flash. Big love to our partner Mexican Summer; all of the local heroes that worked so hard to create an amazing experience; and all the folks who came from near and far, who made it so special. Some of our highlights…

No Nombres performing outside Marfa Public Radio, March 11, 2017. Photo by John Vogler.

No Nombres performing outside Marfa Public Radio, March 11, 2017. Photo by John Vogler.

During the festival, Marfa Public Radio graciously hosted an East-meets-West on-air partnership with Brooklyn’s The Lot Radio. A slew of incredible artists stopped by for interviews, DJ sets, and live performances (we currently have Chulita Vinyl Club‘s DJ set on repeat).

Watch the full archive.

Matt Craven's children's collage workshop at Marfa Studio of Arts, March 11, 2017. Photo by John Vogler.

Matt Craven’s children’s collage workshop at Marfa Studio of Arts, March 11, 2017. Photo by John Vogler.

Our artist-in-residence, Matt Craven, held an awesome children’s collage workshop on Saturday morning during the festival. Big thank you to all the children who attended, Marfa Studio of Arts, and Rae Anna Hample, who helped guide the workshop. We hope the future is a little brighter with collage artists.

Full Marfa Myths 2017 Schedule Now Available

25 Jan 2017

Hear ye hear ye, the full Marfa Myths 2017 schedule is now available! Latest additions: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith! No Nombres! Paul Drummond! We’ll continue to add delights as we get closer to the festival, so keep your eyes peeled. Many thanks to all the artists performing, and our wonderful partners and sponsors.

Buy tickets here.

(Residents of Presidio, Brewster and Jeff Davis counties may purchase a la carte Marfa Myths tickets at a 50% discount. Please see the Facebook Marfa Group for more details.)

Announcing Marfa Myths 2017: March 9-12

6 Dec 2016

Marfa-Myths_Digital-Flyer

“the [Marfa Myths] festival is perhaps the most extreme example in a recent trend toward intimate, meticulously curated music events” – NY Times

“no VIPs, no velvet ropes, just long brambles called ocotillo, which look like the kind of menacing weeds you expect to find on your way into hell – which is to say, Marfa Myths is a music adventurer’s dream.” – Billboard

Marfa Myths expands in size and mind as Ballroom Marfa and Mexican Summer bring the festival back to Far West Texas for four days in March 2017. So pleased to announce the amazing lineup, which includes Pharoah Sanders, a collaborative performance by Weyes Blood & Perfume Genius, Allah-Las, Roky Erickson, and much more.

MARFA MYTHS 2017 LINEUP

Roky Erickson
Perfume Genius & Weyes Blood (Collaborative Performance)
Pharoah Sanders
Julia Holter
Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids
Jenny Hval
Allah-Las
Cate Le Bon
Connan Mockasin presents: Bostyn ‘n Dobson
Zomes
Lonnie Holley
Rose Kallal
Tonstartssbandht
Botany & Shingetsu Billy White
Chulita Vinyl Club

Starting things off on Thursday, Texas psychedelic royalty Roky Erickson performs and is honored in a 13th Floor Elevators gallery retrospective curated by Boo-Hooray. Afterward, poet Eileen Myles and Ballroom Marfa curator Laura Copelin host Dirty Gay Movie Night at the illustrious Crowley Theater. On Friday, Baltimore duo Zomes perform at Wrong Marfa, and that evening, visual artist and musician Lonnie Holley performs solo and as part of a special collaboration with Florida duo Tonstartssbandht at the Strange Attractor opening at Ballroom Marfa. The group exhibition is curated by Gryphon Rue, and features historical works that take sound, site, and technology as their point of origin. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids bring their spiritual San Francisco sound to an after party following the Strange Attractor opening. On Saturday, join us for a late afternoon of transcendent free jazz and experimental pop from Pharoah Sanders and Julia Holter. The marquee Saturday night concert at The Capri features Cate Le Bon, Allah-Las, Jenny Hval, and a Perfume Genius / Weyes Blood collaboration alongside a surprise or two. Marfa Myths closes out on Sunday with the premiere of Connan Mockasin’s new sitcom Bostyn ‘n Dobsyn with a surprise performance to be announced in the new year. In addition to unique installations and performances, Marfa Myths also hosts music and art residencies resulting in limited edition recordings and the annual Marfa Myths journal. This year’s participating visual artist is Matthew Craven, while Gustav Ejstes and Reine Fiske of the Swedish band Dungen collaborate with Jeremy Earl and Jarvis Taveniere of Woods for the recording residency. Marfa Myths is an annual music festival and multidisciplinary cultural program founded in 2014 by nonprofit contemporary arts foundation Ballroom Marfa and Brooklyn-based music label Mexican Summer.

Marfa Myths: Insider Tips

Ballroom Marfa and Mexican Summer are presenting the fourth Marfa Myths over March 9-12, 2017 (buy tickets ). To prepare for your visit to Marfa, check out our most insider-y tips.

Montezuma quail.
You could see a Montezuma quail at the bird blind at the Davis Mountains State Park. Photo courtesy of Davis Mountains State Park.

Laura Copelin, curator
I love Mano! And CDRI, is that what I said before? And the bird blind at the Ft. Davis State Park!

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.

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.

Join Ballroom Marfa Today!

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 Myths 2016 Wrap-Up

22 Mar 2016

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.

Maria José Arjona: You Are Splendid! at Kunsthalle Osnabrück

28 Jan 2016

Maria José Arjona,the inaugural artist to show at Ballroom Marfa in October of 2003, will open an exhibition,performance and workshop project at Kunsthalle Osnabrück on January 31, 2016. You Are Splendid! “is a process that continues until the end of the exhibition on Easter Sunday.”

 

Arjona’s project at Ballroom, Vault, in her own words:

Vault is a space transformed by the motion of a body. It is a process of meditation where drawing is the basic tool to address evolution, simplicity and life. The piece contemplates the cycles of matter and its deconstruction in order to create again.”
–Maria Jose Arjona

Read more about the project in our archive.

Arjona
Maria José Arjona: Second messenger, 2015
Photo: Lisa Palomino
Courtesy: The artist and Flora-arsnatura

You Are Splendid!
An exhibition, performance and workshop project by Maria José Arjona
31 January – 28 March 2016
Kunsthalle Osnabrück

Two swings float through the former nave of Kunsthalle. A nest of cotton, shadow play of a corkscrew hazel, bird calls and a performance artist in plumage who is drawing with tobacco:You Are Splendid is the outcome of a research project lasting more than two years, which the Columbian artist Maria José Arjona dedicated to the world of birds in her home country. This work bears autobiographical elements in that Arjona began her observations of migratory birds while she was living in New York, the most northerly point of the hemisphere the artist from the equatorial region has ever lived.