Marfa: A Haven for Art, Film and Music-Lovers

It has never tried to market or reinvent itself; it’s never had to.

By Shelley Seale & Marika FlattNovember 24, 2016 9:30 am,

From Texas Lifestyle Magazine:

Mysterious ghost lights, a tiny fake Prada store, and the crumbling remains of the Reata mansion set from the 1956 movie “Giant” are a few of the things the West Texas town of Marfa is known for.

It’s a wholly unique place – a one-stoplight town in the middle of the desert that attracts artists, filmmakers and in-the-know visitors from around the world.

Marfa is cool and creative, but a little too rebellious and rough-around-the-edges to become jaded or fully hipster. It has never tried to market or reinvent itself; it’s never had to. Ever since acclaimed minimalist artist Donald Judd left New York City to escape the art scene he claimed to disdain and arrived in Marfa to set up camp at an abandoned Army base, the town has been a natural hub for creatives who want to escape the “scene” and find an authentically inspiring place to work.

Art, film and music lovers soon followed him. Today, Marfa is home to dozens of galleries, workshops and cultural art spaces such as Ballroom Marfa, which offers exhibits, events, performances, and lectures.

Marfa also has a wide range of food and beverage offerings, from food trucks to quirky spots like Planet Marfa beer garden and the Grilled Cheese Parlor, alongside upscale restaurants such as Cochineal and LaVenture.

Lost Horse Saloon is the most tenured watering hole in town, owned by cattle rancher and professional actor Ty Mitchell, who can’t be missed – he has a patch over one eye.

A great place to see and be seen is Hotel Paisano – a place James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson called home during the filming of “Giant.” Enjoy one of their famed margaritas in the hotel bar – appropriately named Jett’s Grill after Dean’s character in the film – and take a look through the “Giant” memorabilia room.

Hotel Saint George is the new kid in town, with 55 rooms rebuilt on the footprint of an 1880s hotel of the same name. It’s a genuine Marfa endeavor, steeped in the character and history of the town. The Bar Saint George serves light bites and a separate event space, Farmstand, is all decked out with salvaged materials, vintage and industrial pieces.

A Marfa mainstay is the quirky El Cosmico, a compound with camping spaces and vintage trailers and teepees for overnight guests. It’s also a centerpiece for local music and art with a constant calendar of workshops, classes and community programs.

It might be a long way from anywhere, but that’s part of Marfa’s draw. Its unhurried pace and unique lifestyle has a reputation like no other in Texas.