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No Place Like Here: Marfa, Texas

Apr 26, 2011

by kbdocumentary

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(Music by Adam Bork)


Marfa, Texas sits upon a vast expanse of landscape. The town’s recent incarnation was hewn from the surrounding desert by the famed American minimalist sculptor Donald Judd. Seeking a place to permanently house his art and that of his contemporaries, Judd fondly recalled the West Texas landscape from his days in the Army after World War II. With the Dia Foundation’s initial support, Judd founded the Chinati Foundation on the abandoned grounds of the former Fort D.A. Russell. Both the Chinati and Judd Foundations run tours each day, attracting crowds of visitors from around the world.

However, out-of-towners soon discover more than restrained cubes and neon installations. In fact, there are diverse clusters of artists and craftspeople at work. A Craft Night, co-founded by Katherine Shaughnessy of Wool and Hoop, is held every week, attracting a mix of young and old people alike, all interested in knitting, creweling, sewing and mending.

The best way to discover Marfa is to wander about and discover what’s there. It is a long trip to make but well worth every second.

Editor’s note: Just as we were making preparations to publish this piece for your viewing, we learned about the terrible wildfire that ignited west of Marfa on April 9 that went on to destroy vast swaths of the Chihuahuan Desert, as well as the historic town of Fort Davis 20 miles north. To learn more and find out how you can help, go to the website of KRTS, Marfa’s Public Radio Station or to Big Bend Now.


About the filmmaker: Karen Bernstein is an Emmy and Grammy award-winning documentary maker who lives in Marfa, Texas with her son, a dog and two cats. Though not a craft person by nature she is a dedicated fan of Craft Night and the artisans of the Trans-Pecos of Texas. More information about her work can be found at

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Watch More Videos at | More Posts About Marfa


  • JudiPaintedit

    JudiPaintedit said 10 years ago

    I would love to go their!!! Did I see a bottle of wine on the table?????

  • Yokoo

    Yokoo said 10 years ago

    Go MARFA! NIce to see your world! Thanks for sharing!

  • BingoBox

    BingoBox said 10 years ago

    Lovely film !! shark - cheers !

  • lulusdressingroom

    lulusdressingroom said 10 years ago

    I love Marfa! It's so peaceful and inspiring. Definitely worth visiting. Thank you for putting this up.

  • opendoorstudio

    opendoorstudio said 10 years ago

    a hidden treasure! love this!

  • adessojewelry

    adessojewelry said 10 years ago

    UNBELIEVABLE. I hope Marfa starts a trend for other communities in this country...YAY, YOU GO, people of Marfa!! LOVE IT.

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 10 years ago

    craft night wold domination woo :) yay marfa

  • texarrakis

    texarrakis said 10 years ago

    I own property close to there, and am moving to Alpine Tx at the end of the week! I love not just Marfa, but the entire region!

  • NangijalaJewelry

    NangijalaJewelry said 10 years ago

    WOW... now this I love!

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy said 10 years ago

    yay, marfa! loving this.

  • designlab443

    designlab443 said 10 years ago

    Great little town with lots of room to run... I love the craft night!!

  • VinylSupercade

    VinylSupercade said 10 years ago

    Love the post. Small towns are such a wealth of beauty and creativity, Go Marfa! Loving all the videos today - Keep 'em coming, Etsy.

  • texarrakis

    texarrakis said 10 years ago

    Haha damn! I'm at my day job right now, sneaking glimpses of this video. My last day here is Friday, then on Sunday I'm packing up my etsy shop and all of my worldly belongings into the back of my pick up truck and heading down to Alpine, 26 miles from Marfa, 80 miles from some property I own. TO ATTEMPT FULL TIME ETSY, and I can't think of a better possible place anywhere to try it! This video is amazing, Marfa is amazing, Far West Texas is amazing, and I can't wait to move there!!

  • NorScott

    NorScott said 10 years ago

    What a wonderful video. It reminded me of the show "Northern Exposure". I loved that show. Also - BEST WISHES to you - texarrakis

  • BumbleBeesGiftBox

    BumbleBeesGiftBox said 10 years ago

    What a lovely town with a eclectic mix of artistic people.

  • fbstudiovt

    fbstudiovt said 10 years ago

    What a wonderful video and post! It's amazing to me how a couple of thousand miles and a vastly different landscape can remind me so much of the folks here in Northern Vermont. Self sufficiency, individualism, independence, and creativity are alive and well!!!

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 10 years ago

    How neat I would love to come down to Marfa and see all of the different artisans and their shops. It looks like it's real laid back and everybody's just doing their own thing. and I like that.

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 10 years ago

    Wow! What an awesome town!!

  • simplyworn

    simplyworn said 10 years ago

    very cool video wed nt craft...sounds great

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 10 years ago

    Very interesting town and well worth visiting!

  • withachanceof

    withachanceof said 10 years ago

    that's so amazing. i need to convince my husband to move there ^_~ thank you for sharing such a great story with wonderful people in it.

  • jesophi

    jesophi said 10 years ago

    my ♥ is in marfa

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 10 years ago

    Love Texas but had to look Marfa up on the map. Great video. Sounds like a great community. Thanks for sharing this.

  • VeraVague

    VeraVague said 10 years ago

    wow. that's awesome. i can really relate to the fiercely independent and almost loner aspect of it. that's how i do my best creating too!

  • SoliDeoGloriaSDG

    SoliDeoGloriaSDG said 10 years ago

    What a lovely little town!

  • UneBelleVie

    UneBelleVie said 10 years ago

    This was fascinating! Road trip, anyone??? :)

  • fawnoverit

    fawnoverit said 10 years ago

    they look ridiculously interesting over there in Marfa! loved this documentary.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 10 years ago

    Oh dear sad to hear of the wildfire! Sounds like a fascinating place...

  • BennBooCreations

    BennBooCreations said 10 years ago

    I know a couple that spends their winters out there. What a world away from the world!

  • JennyMJewels

    JennyMJewels said 10 years ago

    Love to see any part of Texas featured - what a great story!

  • yellowgrey

    yellowgrey said 10 years ago

    what a little hidden gem! thanks for letting us peek into your beautiful community.

  • ourfrontyard

    ourfrontyard said 10 years ago

    I do love small towns. And, I know I'll love Marfa. What a great video and the music was Awesome! :)

  • allgreen

    allgreen said 10 years ago

    there is even a prada store in marfa!

  • ktreasures

    ktreasures said 10 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this, so interesting!

  • SewardsCuriosities

    SewardsCuriosities said 10 years ago

    I love these shorts. It is really nice to see artists working in a community together.

  • UpscaleDownhome

    UpscaleDownhome said 10 years ago

    I love the idea of the town giving the people the space to be their true selves and to be able to pursue that is beautiful!

  • sugarflowerdesign

    sugarflowerdesign said 10 years ago

    So glad you mentioned the fires in that area. Marfa and other communities there are still in real danger of wildfires - it's just been devastating for everyone there (especially as tourism season starts up).

  • theminabucket

    theminabucket said 10 years ago

    love, love this story! so amazing that there are so many talented artists in one tiny place.

  • TheIDconnection

    TheIDconnection said 10 years ago

    I'm here in Texas, come on down! Great story! Monica TheIDConnection

  • thoughtfullyadorned

    thoughtfullyadorned said 10 years ago

    I live in West Texas and have always wanted to go to Marfa! I read about Judd, I think in Texas Monthly a while back. I so want to go see all the art! Marfa came up in conversation today for something else-how funny to come and see this great article/video.

  • VivaVoceVintage

    VivaVoceVintage said 10 years ago

    I think I'll move to Marfa!

  • CathodeBlue

    CathodeBlue said 10 years ago

    Great post. Marfa is amazing! I did a road trip out there in 2004. A little creative jewel in the middle of nowhere. So cool!

  • ChrissiesRibbons

    ChrissiesRibbons said 10 years ago

    I feel more relaxed just watching that! Thanks for sharing... would love to visit one day!

  • ChristinaRomeo

    ChristinaRomeo said 10 years ago

    Fantastic!! Even though I live in a small community in a small mountain town.....I still feel I need my alone time which is so hard to come by...I love your community feel!

  • romynovski

    romynovski said 10 years ago

    Was just in Marfa last's everything like they said in the video and much much more. A little piece of heaven on earth. Wish I was still there:))

  • bluebirdmadam

    bluebirdmadam said 10 years ago

    Have in-laws from Marfa, great people!

  • blackbirdtees

    blackbirdtees said 10 years ago

    It's so delightful to meet you, Marfa. I think I've developed a little bit of a crush on you. Thanks for sharing this!

  • MadCapClothing

    MadCapClothing said 10 years ago

    Go Marfa! I have the joy of hanging out in West Texas every day!!

  • yimmekedesign

    yimmekedesign said 10 years ago

    Marfa ??? Get lost...let it all go and flow with craft night in the middle of ...MARFA-LOUS !!!

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 10 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this! Marfa sounds like a great place to live!

  • blessedvintage

    blessedvintage said 10 years ago

    looks like a cool place!

  • MrsWatchSmith

    MrsWatchSmith said 10 years ago

    Random timing. I was planning my trip to Marfa all day today.

  • luminescentrain

    luminescentrain said 10 years ago

    Marfa is a very cool little place. I used to have family there! Lots of cool stuff comes from Marfa, and if anyone gets the chance, I really suggest going. The lights are truly amazing and mind blowing, and the arts and crafts are truly interesting finds!

  • TyrannyOfTheHandbag

    TyrannyOfTheHandbag said 10 years ago

    Thank you for posting this. Marfa and that general area of West Texas/Big Bend hold a special place in my heart. And allgreen- the Prada store is actually an art installation!

  • JDWolfePottery

    JDWolfePottery said 10 years ago

    Marfa is my kind of town. I've wanted to go there for a long time. Hope I make it there soon!

  • RedorGrayArt

    RedorGrayArt said 10 years ago

    so wonderful to see a part of creative far west Texas featured .. i really enjoyed the film

  • VintageNesting

    VintageNesting said 10 years ago

    Love it!!! Thanks for sharing such a fabulous little community.

  • pinksnakejewelry

    pinksnakejewelry said 10 years ago

    Great feature!!! My kind of place too!!!!!

  • orchardfarmsoap

    orchardfarmsoap said 10 years ago

    seems like a cozy kind of place like island living.

  • thebeadgirl

    thebeadgirl said 10 years ago

    what a great video. i am so moving there...i love the sense of community and how y'all are embracing the creative.!!

  • peaseblossomstudio

    peaseblossomstudio said 10 years ago

    How wonderful to see Texas featured! :)

  • Verdurebydesign

    Verdurebydesign said 10 years ago

    I sit here and wonder what is happening in my community? Thank you for giving me the space to ask the question.....I'm off now for an adventure.

  • Tanith

    Tanith said 10 years ago

    Great video! I would love to visit.

  • littleshopofphotos

    littleshopofphotos said 10 years ago

    So cool! Great video!!

  • CallistoFascination

    CallistoFascination said 10 years ago

    I love Marfa! And Alpine too :)

  • adwsellers

    adwsellers said 10 years ago

    stumbled upon El Cosmico a few months ago, and Marfa has been on my mind since!

  • ZipTieART

    ZipTieART said 10 years ago

    Thank you for this feature on Marfa. It is a marvelous little community with a lot of art and a great feel. The landscape around there is wide open and rolling, the stars truely do shine bright in Texas.

  • sweetsnthings

    sweetsnthings said 10 years ago

    Ft. Stockton RULES, but Marfa is super nice too! I loved the air show, and driving out to see the lights (which I actually did see once).

  • SugarCubeVintage

    SugarCubeVintage said 10 years ago

    hellloooo marfa! very cool place...

  • Tavajoi

    Tavajoi said 10 years ago

    Gem! it's amazing that every corner of this world has environments like this to offer, it just takes time to find them an a motivated individual to encourage them. Awesome footage Karen Bernstein.

  • jungledread

    jungledread said 10 years ago

    ya gotta knit ^_^

  • wintergrass

    wintergrass said 10 years ago

    wonderful wonderful !

  • furrdesigns

    furrdesigns said 10 years ago

    moving!! haha but seriously make more of these, I love learning about new places definatly going to have to drive through Marfa soon.

  • hausofgmone

    hausofgmone said 10 years ago

    Great to see!

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 10 years ago

    What a wonderful video ! Wonderful !

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 10 years ago

    I want to go there someday. :)

  • handmaderomance

    handmaderomance said 10 years ago

    what a great peek into this communities crafty ways! i love this video. thanks for sharing with us x

  • SerantoniDesigns

    SerantoniDesigns said 10 years ago

    Congrats on ingenious collaboration! Continued Inspiration, Mary Serantoni SERANTONI Designs

  • dragonflymystdesigns

    dragonflymystdesigns said 10 years ago

    What an interesting community!! Would love to visit someday.

  • lovinganvil

    lovinganvil said 10 years ago

    @texarrakis that's so awesome! good luck and loveliness with the move to alpine! it's always a good sign to get a dose of serendipity! and great read, storque! we're getting ready to head to the southwest...WITH our vinyl collection. moving it. again. because that's what we do. xoxo

  • battysbath

    battysbath said 10 years ago

    I love that trailer that's covered in yarn!!!

  • Lollitree

    Lollitree said 10 years ago

    Great video! Tragic about the wildfire...

  • mudpuppy

    mudpuppy said 10 years ago

    Fantastic! I've heard of Marfa and always been curious about it. Thank you! Can you find me an affordable alone time place in California (that's affordable)?

  • pinedrygoods

    pinedrygoods said 10 years ago

    I'm so glad that you featured Marfa!!! It's a place very, very close to my hear-- trips out there as a child, bright stars, big skies, good friends, mystery lights, and it's even where we went for our honeymoon and second anniversary. West Texas is truly a special place, and that's why I (and my shop) am so inspired by it!!

  • HomemadeByMrsB

    HomemadeByMrsB said 10 years ago

    Loved this piece so much I watched it twice! What a cool town, its so nice how they all come together for craft night, love that idea. Thanks for sharing.

  • davidleeson

    davidleeson said 10 years ago

    Check out my friend Allison V Smith's photos of Marfa.

  • onewintrynight

    onewintrynight said 10 years ago

    Oh, I love this place!

  • chinadoodle

    chinadoodle said 10 years ago

    Everyone needs to take a road trip to Marfa. Heres photos of mine:

  • daisyvortex

    daisyvortex said 10 years ago

    Hmmm, makes me wonder what exactly is going on in my little town.

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 10 years ago

    I wonder how many other small communities have similar things going on? It looks like a great place, but too much sky & not enough green for me! :-)

  • inaflashopalinlay

    inaflashopalinlay said 10 years ago

    Wonderful Video, I Love Texas and homemade socks, I could definitely trade metro for small town any day.

  • MysticalRaindrops

    MysticalRaindrops said 10 years ago

    I love it when some creative person turns a place into somewhere where people can express their creativity.

  • compassionmalas

    compassionmalas said 10 years ago

    This is so inspiring. I wonder if there's a craft night where I live? I will check. Carry on, Marfans! (Marfians?)

  • SLSvintage

    SLSvintage said 10 years ago

    Dear Marfa, I could learn to love you...

  • Bolete

    Bolete said 10 years ago

    Love this article. Love the people.

  • larkspurstudios

    larkspurstudios said 10 years ago

    Have the wildfires that threatened Marfa been contained?

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom said 10 years ago

    Great video. So great to see the different art forms and artist being represented. Great little town : )

  • blevison Admin

    blevison said 10 years ago

    Hey everyone, Thanks so much for your responses so far. Just a note - if you want to start your own craft night ... how about Etsy's upcoming, global, June 10 Craftparty as an excuse?! We think it's a super cool event and there's more info about it here: But most importantly, it's great to hear from you all!

  • DuryeaPlaceDesigns

    DuryeaPlaceDesigns said 10 years ago

    Great video.... looks like a wonderful place! I'll add it to my list!

  • SpiritedWoodland

    SpiritedWoodland said 10 years ago

    Great video- looks like a terrific bunch of creative folk!

  • daisydesignsgallery

    daisydesignsgallery said 10 years ago

    Marfa reminds me of the little country town I live in. The best part of it are the people who dedicate themselves to helping others who are less fortunate. Small towns bring people together in such a nice way. Thanks for sharing!

  • LuckytoBeinLove

    LuckytoBeinLove said 10 years ago


  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 10 years ago

    Very Nice. Go Marfa!

  • sassyhoops

    sassyhoops said 10 years ago

    As one who lives in a small Texas town, I love seeing a tiny Texas town featured. Marfa's the best!

  • redyellowandblueink

    redyellowandblueink said 10 years ago

    so great! thank you for the post.

  • collectiblesatoz

    collectiblesatoz said 10 years ago

    Wonderful........thanks for sharing.

  • missbmckay

    missbmckay said 10 years ago

    I loved the connection between balancing community friendship, and the importance of creative solitude. Inspiring, and I had to blog about it.

  • Slowshirts

    Slowshirts said 10 years ago

    Wonderful feature! i've had friends who've spent time living in Marfa and love it.

  • buttonandthimble

    buttonandthimble said 10 years ago

    Marfa! I keep hearing how wonderful it is. The Marfa lights are supposed to be spectacularly eerie. What a wonderful feature. Thanks for sharing!!

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 said 10 years ago

    Love the idea of craft night!

  • girliepains

    girliepains said 10 years ago

    These films are so wonderful

  • bluzfrek

    bluzfrek said 10 years ago

    "Editor's note: Just as we were making preparations to publish this piece for your viewing, we learned about the terrible wildfire that ignited west of Marfa on April 9 that went on to destroy vast swaths of the Chihuahuan Desert, as well as the historic town of Fort Davis 20 miles north. To learn more and find out how you can help, go to the website of KRTS, Marfa's Public Radio Station or to Big Bend Now." This information needs a clarification: while the fire has been bad, it has not "destroyed" the area's portion of the Chihuahuan Desert, nor the town of Fort Davis. There have been a number of losses in terms of homes and live stock, and the fire has consumed a tremendous amount of grasslands, but fire is a natural act of Mother Nature, and many of the burned areas are already showing new plant growth. The fire isn't under control as of now, the threat still exists, but these West Texans are a tough group, and will rebound, rebuild, and regroup. If you enjoyed this video, please make plans to come to the area to partake in all that the Marfa/Alpine/Fort Davis region has to offer. And by all means, check out the aforementioned KRTS/FM93.5 & "Big Bend Now" for area information.

  • QuietRainz

    QuietRainz said 10 years ago

    Such a wonderful town, great people, magic everywhere. Go if you can! I can't wait to go back.

  • stepbackink

    stepbackink said 10 years ago

    This only reinforce that you can make happeness no matter where you live. Every one in the movie seems to have a purpose and is living. Love it Sam :)

  • KerriFerrariMarchese

    KerriFerrariMarchese said 10 years ago

    Watch out! Your population might just double!

  • PurpleIriss

    PurpleIriss said 10 years ago

    So inspiring! I live in a small town too, but this town seems smaller and just as interesting. I still love my home town here in Oroville California. Something strange- Ive been weaving these metal jewelry pieces and haven't been able to find anything like them.... am I creating some cool small town art? Hum...

  • FreakyPeas

    FreakyPeas said 10 years ago

    please transport me there.

  • strawberryluna

    strawberryluna said 10 years ago

    So awesome, ya for Marfa!

  • DeuxPetitesSouris

    DeuxPetitesSouris said 10 years ago

    interesting town and interesting people! I always say that there is great talent lurking in every corner of the world!

  • lapetiteposy

    lapetiteposy said 10 years ago

    Great article! Love to learn more about other areas and see creativity from all over!

  • pippinann

    pippinann said 9 years ago

    i love this place. i would love to do a road trip to attend craft night.

  • ibettinger

    ibettinger said 9 years ago

    i heart marfa. i've been twice and will go back again in the fall. I actually met Karen a few times on the streets and didn't realize she made the movie until now.

  • 2k2l2e2v2e2n

    2k2l2e2v2e2n said 9 years ago

    Museum of electronic wonders and late night grilled cheese parlor. Y E S .

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