• Date: Permanent Public Sculpture
  • Sponsor: Art Production Fund and Ballroom Marfa
  • Location: Highway 90, Valentine, TX
  • Artists: Elmgreen & Dragset

Press Release


After almost a year of negotiations between the Texas Department of Transportation, Art Production Fund and Ballroom Marfa, we are happy to announce that the iconic Prada Marfa has been saved. The official statement from TxDOT’s Veronica Beyer is below:

“As of February 1, 2014, the Ballroom Marfa Foundation, a domestic nonprofit corporation, has leased the property on which the building stands. The site is now an art museum site and the building is their single art exhibit. As such, associated signage on the building is now considered to be an “on-premise” sign under state rules and does not require a state permit under the Highway Beautification Act. The lease is currently being reviewed, but with the execution of the lease, the complaint file will be closed.”

Created in 2005 by Elmgreen & Dragset, and sponsored by Art Production Fund and Ballroom Marfa, the site-specific public sculpture is modeled after a Prada store, but will never function as a working place of commerce.  APF Co-Founders Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen state that “within our 13 years of producing and presenting important public art, few works have been as eagerly embraced than Prada Marfa by Elmgreen & Dragset. With full integrity, the artists refused for us to ask any corporation, especially Prada, for monetary donations to support the making of this project. It took us over a year of intense fundraising from local and international private patrons to realize this authentic and pure permanent artwork. The family of the late Walter Alton “Slim” Brown, even generously contributed to the project by lending their land. Great public art empowers people and gives them alternate ways to understand the times that we live in; Prada Marfa is a civic gift that has become one of the great worldwide pop icons.”

For more background on the TxDOT decision, see Juan Carlos Llorca’s story for the Associated Press.

Art Production Fund would like to thank everyone for their incredible support of Prada Marfa over the years.  We are thankful that we can continue fulfill our mission of maintaining important and ambitious public art projects.