Blackwell School: Images and Voices from the Archive


April 27, 2019 - April 2020  at the Blackwell School, Marfa, Texas

This project activates the image and oral history archives of the Blackwell School across thirteen public locations in Marfa, Texas. The Blackwell School served as the segregated elementary school for the Hispanic population of Marfa from the 1890s until 1965. Mural size images are accompanied by audio excerpts accessible via mobile devices. A 20-page newspaper about the school is being distributed at many cultural and arts institutions in the region and around the state. The project will be installed for one year and serves as an invitation for visitors to engage with Marfa's history and for community members to add to the existing archive housed at the historical Blackwell School site.

This project was made possible by grants from: the City of Marfa and Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation, and the generosity of many businesses and individual supporters: AEP, Aster, Big Bend Sentinel, Boyz2Men, Celebration Liquor, Cochineal, Convenience West, El Cosmico, Frama, The Get Go, Hotel Saint George, Livingston Insurance Agency, Lost Horse, Marfa Brand Soap, Marfa Hardware, Marfa National Bank, Marfa Realty, Moonlight Gemstones, Planet Marfa, Raba Marfa, Ranch Candy, Stellina, Water Stop, Dawn Balkom, Lori and Steve Benavidez, Shelley Bernstein and Alexandra Rau, Melody and Larry Crenshaw, Donna and Sherwood Enck, Rich Huarte, Chuck Loban, Patsi Maroney, Rusty Martin, Genie Mitchell, Socorro Munoz, Mr. Pena, Joni and Tim Powers, Wile Quintana, Cindy and Daryl Scroggins, Martha Stebbins, J. Tillapaugh, and Kathleen and David Walstrom.

Wall space for the public art mural prints were provided Elsie Abrams, Kenneth and Bo Beanland, Anita Bustamante, The Chinati Foundation, City of Marfa, Russell Guevarra, Ellen and David Kimble, Marfa Country Clinic, Marfa Public Library, Marfa Visitor Center, Miguel Mendias, and Mary Shaffer.

The Blackwell School Alliance would especially like to thank all of the former students, teachers, friends, and neighbors who have shared your stories over the years. Your stories matter. 

Special thanks to the Blackwell School Alliance board members (Betty Nuñez, Mario Rivera, Lionel Salgado, Jessi Silva, Michael Wallens, David Walstrom, Kathleen Walstrom, and Gretel Enck) for their invitation and generosity on the project, as well as Sarah Vasquez, Elise Pepple, Gabriela Carballo, Los Texas Wranglers, Lionel Salgado, Betty Aguirre, Lourdes Aguirre, Carmen Espinoza, Lupe Mendias, Mario Rivera and Jessie Silva.