In the 1970s, minimalist artist Donald Judd moved to Marfa, Texas, where he created giant works of art that bask beneath vast desert skies. In the years since, Marfa has emerged as a hot spot for art tourism.
Credit Art (c) Judd Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
This summer, NPR's <em>Destination Art</em> series is going off the beaten path to visit small to midsize North American cities that have cultivated lively arts scenes. And we want to hear from you! Where's your favorite art hot spot? What makes it unique? <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=156306412"><strong>Tell us about it.</strong></a>
Credit Brian Santa Maria / iStockphoto.com
<em>Prada, Marfa</em> is a faux boutique displaying luxury bags and shoes in the middle of the sparse Texas landscape. It was created in 2005 by artist duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset.
Credit Matt Slocum / AP
Though the locals have mixed feelings about being an art mecca, Kaki Aufdengarten-Scott, Marfa's one-woman chamber of commerce, says without art tourism, "this town would have dried up and blown away."
Credit Citoyen du Monde Inc / Flickr
The Marfa Book Co. is run by poet Tim Johnson, who doesn't think Judd would approve of Marfa's emergence as a chic art world destination.
Credit ydhsu / Flickr
"You just come out here and you feel like, I want to make something; I want to do something!" explains sculptor Campbell Bosworth. Above, a creative car, spotted on the street in Marfa.
This tiny town perched on the high plains of the Chihuahua desert is nothing less than an arts world station of the cross, like Art Basel in Miami, or Documenta in Germany. It's a blue-chip arts destination for the sort of glamorous scenesters who visit Amsterdam for the Rijksmuseum and the drugs.
"They speak about Marfa with the same kind of reverent tones generally reserved for the pilgrimage of the Virgin of Lourdes," notes Carolina Miranda, a writer who covers the art world.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep, good morning.
Fighters for the Free Syrian Army are getting their hands on heavier weapons than normal. They used a captured tank to open fire on a government airbase. That happened outside the country's largest city, Aleppo, where despite a clear advantage in numbers and weapons, the government has not been able to take the city back after five days of intense fighting.
The Olympics are a quest to be the best. But some Olympians are accused of purposely playing badly at badminton. The Badminton World Federation has launched disciplinary proceedings against four women's doubles pairs. First, the world champions, who are Chinese, faced off against opponents from South Korea. And spectators started booing when the players seemed to be making simple errors on purpose.