TxDOT to Prada Marfa: Yes, You Are Art!

Art or advertisement? A long debate has come to a close in Far West Texas.

On Friday afternoon, KRTS News spoke with Dan Chamberlain, the Communications Coordinator for Ballroom Marfa, about the decision by the Texas Department of Transportation to close its case on Prada Marfa. Our conversation is linked in the podcast above.

Today Ballroom Marfa released a statement on their website:

After a series of productive negotiations with the Texas Department of Transportation, Prada Marfa is officially saved.

Their statement came on the heels of a report from the Associated Press, in which TxDOT announced they had come to an agreement. According to TxDOT, “the complaint file will be closed.” The concern began in 2013, when a complaint was filed against Prada Marfa, claiming it was not an art installation but highway advertising and should be regulated as such. 

Prada Marfa, which was installed in 2005 by the artist team of Elmer & Dragset, has had a history of vandalism, most recently by a Waco resident, whose legal case is still in process. In addition to the debate of art-vs-vandalism, the case of art-vs-advertisment had parallels with procedural wranglings around Playboy Marfa, a short-lived art installation along the same road, Highway 90.

About Tom Michael

Former KRTS/KXWT News Director
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