By Hanna Refvik and Kenedy Blom
An eight hour drive west from Dallas, SMU students flock to Marfa,TX for an Instagram picture in front of the abandoned Prada Marfa boutique. Look beyond the to discover some of Marfa’s hidden gems.
Where To Eat
By Kenedy Blom
Do Your Thing Coffee
The first morning in Marfa calls for coffee and a spread of toasts. It’s nearly impossible to pick between the avocado, everything cream cheese, and jam toasts so I would suggest getting all of them. The sourdough bread is homemade and the coffee definitely beats Starbucks.
Marfa Burrito is a must for lunch. The restaurant is a tiny hole in the wall, but the food is incredible. Be sure to get there before 2 p.m. or they will be out of food. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on Matthew McConaughey’s favorite burrito joint!
My first dinner in Marfa was spent at Stellina. The food was fresh, unique, and innovative. I would definitely recommend getting the burrata if it’s on the menu. Make sure to arrive early to get a table!
What To See
By Hanna Refvik
Marfa is known among art savvy circles as a crazy art town in the middle of nowhere holding some of the countries coolest contemporary art installations. The Chinati Foundation, founded in 1986 by Donald Judd, preserves and showcases large art installations surrounding the desert landscapes.
Manager Savannah Lust explained, “We have thirteen permanent installations, by artists selected by Donald Judd, and there is one rotating exhibition.”
The Chinati Foundation is located on 340 acres of land, with artwork from Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Robert Irwin. One by one, Marfa’s abandoned buildings have become showcases of art. Ballroom Marfa, a smaller gallery in the center of town, inspires artists to push past the restrictions compared a normal gallery space.
Employee Matt O’Donnell says that is his favorite part about Marfa.
“There is so much breathing room here. Especially the Prada store, Chinati, the concrete works the aluminum works are really beautiful,” O’Donnell says. “Just because they have space to breathe and exist without competition, which is something that is lacking in a gallery setting or a museum. I really appreciate that about Marfa, it’s beautiful.”
Down the road from Marfa Burrito, we stayed in a high tech mini home on a barren plot of land. The El Cosmico limited edition Kasita was decked out in Texas inspired graffiti, proving that even the walls of this small town are works of art.
Gretchen Marie Schaefer, a Rule Gallery artist, believes that Marfa is a work of art itself and incorporates artists into the natural landscape in a unique and cutting edge way.
“It’s natural materials but there’s a little bit of an illusion involved, so they look to be just simple rocks but actually they are just paper materials,” Schaefer says. “Marfa is this sort of interesting place that it seems just like this simple small town in the middle of Texas but it has become this kind of magical art mecca. There is way more to it then you would imagine, this sort of dusty landscape. It’s true for its natural elements, the light here is pretty unbelievable and magical, everything about the people, it’s great. So it’s a great place to be an artist because of it’s slower pace, and open blue skies, and the light. I find so much inspiration here.”
Whether it’s a chance to get Instagram photos, experience glamping at Beyoncé’s favorite El Cosmico, or explore contemporary art, SMU students love heading west to explore this mystical town. Hopefully the next adventurous students take the time to dive deeper into the art scene of Marfa.
As Donald Judd says, “Everything that exists exists. And that is Marfa.”