West Texas & Marfa

Travel Route: Alpine to El Paso to Marfa

While “big” may be the watchword for Texas, it doesn’t mean that every single person or place here is larger than life.  Some of the “coolest” and most exciting cities in West Texas are small ones.  And Spring’s colorful blossoms made the drive much longer because I had to stop every five minutes to photograph the scenery.

Marfa is a state of mind all on its own.  The west Texas town became a magnet for creative spirits since 1971 when Donald Judd, a renowned Minimalist artist, moved to Marfa from NYC intending to install his art permanently.  I was deeply impressed and taken by the spacious living compound he created in this desolated place for himself and his two children; he was a single parent.  In what used to be part of a military base, he converted two large warehouses into working, living, and library spaces, woven and neatly organized with furniture of his design.  Today two foundations are working to maintain his legacy, managing the exhibition spaces and other activities, including several artist’s residency programs, all and more, which attracts a flow of interesting people. 

Marfa is also known for the mysterious ghost lights as they appear across the Chinati Mountains, which we did not see but met others who swear by it and as the film location for James Dean’s final picture, Giant.

It was a great place and with even a delightful company, Danna Sigal, to end two weeks tour of 2300 miles (3700 km) from East to West Texas.