Music & the Arts
LOCAL MUSIC & ART
The Big Bend attracts most in a way that’s not always obvious at first. And there are some folks who won’t have any fun in this place at all. But back to the ones it does attract, because that is the important part.
The ones that are attracted and can’t forget, the ones who find a way to be here for a month on the next trip, a year, a month every year, or the ones whose truck broke down and they just eventually admitted that they’d live here for a good spell. Those people are different than you, but that’s not to say that there’s anything wrong or right about any of us.
What I am getting at is among those who have chosen the desert, and the Big Bend at that, so close to our neighbors in Mexico that the line is often as blurry as the muddy water of the Rio, well, there are some truly inspired artists of many different mediums.
You’d be hard pressed to spend a real day in Terlingua without hearing a song played live and acoustic or loud and electric, blending guitar riffs and bilingual lyrics to tell a story born on both sides of an imaginary line, no doubt written and performed, maybe even just for you, by a local musician telling a tale that anyone can relate to. It’s a beautiful thing.
And then there are those that create these things that you can see and touch, and this is a land of plenty. While there are several galleries and studios in and around Terlingua and Study Butte, practically every place you can shop proudly sells local art, handmade jewelry and goods, photography and books—you name it. This place has inspired many and they’ve been creating some distinctive pieces for you.
While you are here, be sure to spend a little time checking out the local music and art, influenced by this land and its history, the people who have lived here, and our experiences in it.
Terlingua Trading Company (432) 371-2234
Your one-stop for souvenirs and gifts, art and jewelry, candles and candy, and that Viva Terlingua sticker you’ve been waiting your whole life for. Located in the heart of the infamous Terlingua Ghost Town in one of the oldest and largest adobe buildings still in use in the state of Texas.
Starlight Theatre – Terlingua Ghost Town (432) 371-3400
In addition to being one of the only three bars in town, and one of only a handful of restaurants open at night, Starlight Theatre also hosts art shows on the regular, complete with an artist’s reception on the opening night of a new showing. Next time you stop in for dinner or a drink, peruse the goods on the walls of the lower portion of the restaurant down by the big stage. All local artists, all the time.
Earth & Fire Gallery – Terlingua Ghost Town (432) 371-2637
Arguably the premiere gallery in Terlingua, Earth & Fire hosts a rotating cast of local artists, each of whom take turns working a few hours at the gallery. Also located in the Ghost Town, look for this restored rock house ruin leftover from the mining era, right in between Starlight Theatre and La Posada Milagro’s Espresso y Poco Mas. You’ll find some of the finest art Terlingua and the Big Bend have to offer and surely find something you just can’t live without.
Painted Feather Gallery – Terlingua Ghost Town (405) 795-3905
NEED TO GO CHECK THIS ONE OUT
Curio Shop at Easter Egg Valley Motel – TX 170 (432) 371-2254
If you don’t know what a curio is, you should stop in here just so you can find out. If you do know, then you know what to expect in this quaint shop located in the front office of the Easter Egg Valley Motel Office. Ask Linda if you can take a selfie with the giant Chinese knife.
Many Stones – TX 118 (432) 371-2994
One of the longest running shops in Study Butte, operated by a guy who’s not only been a model in the Men of Terlingua calendar but has been down here longer than some of the rocks. Ring Huggins owns and operates Many Stones—when he’s there. His sign by the front door will tell you that if the door is unlocked, he’s around, but if it is locked you can buy anything outside anyway by leaving cash or a check made out to “Ring Huggins” in the slot on said door. You’d be hard pressed to find many other people out in these parts that know as much about the geology and flora as Ring, and a conversation with him is as much a reason to stop in as all the rocks, gems, jewelry he handmakes, cacti, and lots more. Open whenever he’s there, usually during the daytime.
Quilts By Marguerite – TX 118 (432) 371-2292
Marguerite is probably the sweetest lady you’ll meet out here. There are a lot of them, for sure, but just trust me on this one. You may be thinking to yourself, “I don’t really have a use for a quilt.” Don’t be silly; everyone could find a use for a quilt, especially on one of those cold desert nights you didn’t bring enough gear for. This unassuming metal building right off TX 118 on the way to the BBNP main entrance may not seem like much on the outside, but open the door and the colors and patterns of a sea of quilts from floor to ceiling will surely catch your eye and keep you occupied for a spell. It’s almost guaranteed that she’ll be sitting behind her sewing machine right by the front door, hard at work when you arrive. In addition to the quilts she makes, she also provides space for 12 other local quilt makers. As we like to say, viva variety!
Galeria Chisos – TX 118 (432) 371-2100
This newly opened gallery offers an eclectic selection of jewelry, rocks and minerals, mosaics, photography, paintings, leather and fabric items, and soaps and other gift items, almost all made by local Terlingua artists. Coming in summer 2019, look for a rock and fossil museum in the northern wing of the building that will also offer educational classes for students, locals, and tourists alike. Inquire within for more info.
Gift Shop at Big Bend Resorts – TX 118 (877) 386-4383
Recently remodeled and packed with all kinds of locally produced goods, plus souvenirs from around Texas, books on the Big Bend, t-shirts and hats, and a number of last minute necessities like cheap sunglasses and lip balm too.
Many times, talking to a local is the best way to get either the most accurate information or a bunch of directions that you think you understand but then try to navigate and realize you have no idea how to interpret.
Terlingua is full of friendly people, and they love telling you their favorite spots and stories of the history of this place and their time in it. Don’t be afraid to ask someone if you find yourself lost or confused. Most will be glad to oblige.