Marfa City Council onboard for American Modernism
By RICHARD MARK GLOVER
MARFA – The Marfa City council voted unanimously Monday night to allow a banner to fly above Highland Avenue from September 24 – October 15 advertising the launch of a traveling art exhibit of Wilhelmina Weber Furlong’s paintings from the last century. The exhibit will be held at Building 98 and a reception is planned for Oct 4th during Chinati Weekend.
“Marfa is a most important place to launch this exhibit,” said Clint Weber, curator of the exhibit and board member of the International Woman’s Foundation, which is sponsoring the event. “In many ways Furlong represents the beginning of America’s modernist painting period and Donald Judd represents the end of that era.”
Dubbed the first female modernist painter in the American Modernism scene, Wilhelmina Weber Furlong’s art is said to “blend creative vision, style and bold imagery.” She produced most of her work from 1899 to 1940 at the Golden Heart Farm near Albany, New York. She was also teaching at the Art Student League of New York in the 1940’s when a young Donald Judd was taking classes there.
Weber, who grew up in Marfa and is a Sul Ross State University journalism graduate and lives in Alpine, will be signing his recent book on his great aunt and artist “The Treasured Collection of Golden Heart Farm” at the reception. Professor Emeritus of Skidmore College, Dr. James K. Kettlewell, wrote in the introduction of the biography that Weber, the artist’s trade name, was “one of the most significant artists of the 20th century.” A documentary film, titled “Looking for Weber” is also in the works.
In other council news, a unanimous vote approved a new city employee health care insurance policy. Despite a 2011 loss ratio of 238% (payouts exceeding premiums paid) TML Intergovernmental Employee Benefits Pool offered to bind a new health insurance policy at an increase of a little less than 10 per cent. The new monthly premium will go from $433 to $478.22 to cover the 20 city employees.
“It changes the deal we have with our employee the least,” said Councilmember David Beebe. “I don’t want to offer them less, they’re doing a great job.”
The city also voted to advertise for bid to divest a city-owned lot at Block 65, Marfa lot 7, also known as 500 East Galveston Street.