‘GIANT MARFA’ MURAL INSTALLATION
October 16-20, 2018 Marfa, Texas
Before the town of Marfa, Texas became known as the quirky little arts community, it gained notoriety as the place where Hollywood came to shoot a portion of the blockbuster hit movie ‘Giant’ in 1955. In mid-October, a new mural installation will honor that film with a freestanding, larger than life plywood cutout scene titled ‘Giant Marfa.’
Artist John Cerney, from Salinas, California, has been creating these unusual public art pieces for over 30 years, with his work appearing in over 20 states and Canada. Once a year, Cerney takes a break from his usual commissions from ad agencies, businesses, and private commissions, to create his own personal projects allowing him to break free from the usual commercial aspects of his work. From a flying saucer with aliens in Roswell, New Mexico, to Amelia Earhart and her plane in her hometown of Atchison, Kansas, Cerney will pinpoint a community who would be receptive to the subject matter, and in exchange for his traveling expenses, donate these public art installations for many years of enjoyment from passersby.
For ‘Giant Marfa,’ Cerney will be collaborating with musician/singer/songwriter/producer, Michael Nesmith. Music will play a large role in the roadside piece, an audio element Cerney is using in his work for the first time. The way projects align creatively -- the arts working together -- is a focus of the Gihon Foundation, who in collaboration with the Wyatt Foundation, are putting on a free concert to celebrate Cerney’s gift of ‘Giant Marfa’ to the town and its occupants. The Gihon Foundation’s president, Michael Nesmith, recently rekindled his groundbreaking Country Rock project, the First National Band. He played a total of 17 dates across the country over the last year and released a live album, Live at the Troubadour, to preserve his return to that historic stage. Michael Nesmith & The First National Band Redux will play a free concert at the Hotel Paisano on Saturday, October 20, at 7:30pm. The Hotel Paisano offers dinner service is 5:00-10:00 and bar service is available until 11:30.
‘Giant Marfa’ is a donation to the community of Marfa, and Cerney has been working closely with the Marfa Chamber of Commerce to bring the work to life. The Chamber has graciously offered to cover the travel expenses to bring the artwork to Marfa.
Long a fan of James Dean, Cerney wanted to highlight the actor’s last film, as well as elements of the movie that are well known to its’ legions of fans. The mural will also play with the theme of time and nostalgia. In a stroke of good fortune, one of the ranches where ‘Giant’ was filmed was offered as a site for the mural installation, 5 miles west of Marfa on Highway 90. The site is the Little Reata Division of the Wyatt Ranches, and the corporate owners have been careful to respect the movie significance of the property...the old windmill which James Dean climbed during the movie remains intact, and the old ‘Little Reata’ sign will also compliment the mural. In the movie, the property was willed to Dean's character and he named it, 'Little Reata.' Lynn Wyatt, the matriarch of the Wyatt family, is well known for her patronage of the arts; and, the Board of Directors for Wyatt Ranches was excited for one of the actual movie sites to be selected for Cerney's roadside public artwork.
Work on the installation begins on Tuesday, October 16th, and should wrap up by Friday, the 19th. All of the painting is being executed in the artist’s studio in California and will be transported to Marfa.
Artists - John Cerney - Salinas, CA - johncerneymurals.com - shop (831) 758-8403 - cell (831) 578-4158
Michael Nesmith - Carmel Valley, CA
Gihon Foundation - Jessica Kent Advance / Coordinator / Press (831) 277-1866
Marfa Chamber of Commerce - Mark Rodriguez /Belinda Dominguez
Wyatt Ranches - Brad Wyatt
Installation - Phil Catalano, Ken Bonano, Amy Bonano, and Daniel Shamsie
Video - Carol Catalano
Audio Engineer - Gory Smelley
Photography - Barclay Gibson
Hotel Paisano / Riata Inn
*A PDF of the Press Release can be downloaded here.