The of Big Bend
Alpine , Fort Davis , Marfa , Marathon , Terlingua , and Presidio : these are the communities of Big Bend , making a mark through culture and the arts .
Gateways to a great wilderness that persists in our collective imagination , these towns are home to the last Texas frontier , stewards of remarkable starry night skies , and neighbors to the state ’ s largest expanse of wild public lands . Far away from big city lights , nestled among topography of grand proportions , each montane hamlet has evolved its own special characteristics .
The region got its start with ranching , railroad , military , and mining outposts in the mid 1800s and early 1900s . Populations ebbed and flowed with the rise and fall of those industries . Remote , difficult terrain and a lack of abundant water continue to make it a challenging place to settle . Yet people , especially artists , are still drawn here .
The Big Bend ’ s scattered villages , all within a half hour to two-hour drive from each other , boast dramatic panoramas in between . A day drive can take you from sky island mountain tops to the spare desert floor and the surprisingly lush Rio Grande corridor , with people and art scenes as varied as the landscapes along the way .
Outdoor art is making a resurgence everywhere out here , with murals offering easy access to the heart of each town . Annual cultural events like Marfa Art Festival and Alpine Artwalk , plus a growing number of music festivals , rodeos , parades , and big holiday celebrations keep things colorful for locals and visitors alike . Frequent art shows and gallery openings invite glimpses into the soul of each place .
It ’ s easy to see how miles of mountains and the ever-present forces of nature inspire the imagination of Big Bend artists . Be sure to put these galleries and artists at the top of your list on your next visit .
“ The Fairbury Windmill ” by Patty Moreland
24 www . GalleriesArtists . com