Marfa Invitational Announces Details of 2024 Event

by Jessica Fuentes April 16, 2024

Marfa Invitational has announced dates and events for its 2024 iteration in the West Texas town of Marfa.

The Marfa Invitational Foundation is a contemporary art nonprofit founded in 2018 by artist and curator Michael Phelan and his wife Melissa Bent with the support of Kenneth Bauso, a former investment banker. The foundation hosts an annual art fair bringing artists and galleries from across the U.S. and the world to Marfa. The first fair was held in 2019, then in 2020, the yearly occurrence was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In May 2023, the foundation temporarily lost its 501(c)3 nonprofit status for failing to submit previous years of tax information to the IRS. After this, multiple people involved on the board side pulled back their involvement, and a supporter of the foundation filed a complaint with the ​​Texas Attorney General’s Office, alleging mismanagement of donor funds. In November 2023, the IRS retroactively reinstated Marfa Invitational’s nonprofit status, effective May 15, 2023. There has been no update on the status of the complaint filed with the Attorney General’s Office.

A newsletter distributed by the organization announced that the Sculpture Park will open this May. The five-acre site is home to a permanent collection of outdoor works, including two works installed last year: Matt Johnson’s Sleeping Figure and Rana Begum’s No. 1193 Mesh. The Invitational will host a private viewing at the sculpture park on Friday, May 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., followed by public hours on Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The weekend will include artist talks and dinners, as well as the unveiling of the MI Billboard by Camilla Engström and solo exhibitions of works by Jeremy Booth (curated by Ronnie Pirovino) and Ms. Engström. 

A photograph of artist Camilla Engström standing with several large-scale paintings of mountains and deserts.

Camilla Engström

The MI Billboard is adjacent to and viewable from Highway 90, just east of Marfa. Last year, London-based artist Szabolcs Bozó was the inaugural artist to create work for the billboard. Ms. Engström, who was born in Sweden, draws on nature in her work and is inspired by the art of Georgia O’Keeffe and Hilma af Klint. The solo exhibitions will take place in the Historic Mercantile building, which is west of Marfa, in the small town of Valentine. 

A digital design by Jeremy Booth featuring a man on a horse.

Jeremy Booth, “Watch Dog.”

Previous editions of the Marfa Invitational operated as art fairs in the city’s Saint George Hall and included multiple well-known out-of-town galleries who set up presentations of their artists’ works. Other editions have also included extracurricular programming, such as a lecture by critic Jerry Saltz, and dinners honoring arts supporters. As of yet, no such presentations or programming has been announced for this edition of the event.

A photograph of musician Noah Faulker, his brother, and their dog.

Noah Faulkner

For entertainment this year, the organization has announced on its social media platforms that Noah Faulkner (@pedalsteelnoah), a teen musician who has gained recognition for his pedal steel guitar renditions of ’80s and ’90s songs, will be performing.

Learn more about the 2024 Marfa Invitational and purchase VIP tickets for private events taking place throughout the weekend via the organization’s website.

0 comment

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Funding generously provided by: