Wrong Store – Marfa, Texas - Atlas Obscura
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Marfa, Texas

Wrong Store

This quirky outpost and gallery inside a former church is an unexpected trove of handcrafted art. 

Underneath a big blue Texas sky rests a former church. It’s unassuming, with a grey exterior, and its modest crucifix is practically hidden behind a few short, dry green trees and bushes. If you didn’t know what was in there, you might easily walk past it, heading for some place with a cool drink of water.

But inside the former church is a surprise: the Wrong Store, a quirky, artsy shop and gallery selling a mix of trinkets, denim, high-end minimalist art and whatever else the sun-heated imagination might come up with.

The Wrong Store, which is owned and operated by independent artists, offers the unexpected. Are you looking for an intricate hand-carved replica wooden bottle of tequila? Well, you’re in luck! Want some delectable-looking wooden ice cream cones or a silver-painted replica Colt 45? They can all be yours, for the right price.

You might wonder how a high-end store for handcrafted art pieces popped up in the 2,000-person town of Marfa, Texas. In 1971, minimalist artist Donald Judd moved to Marfa from New York to work on his craft. He soon bought up airplane hangers (Marfa was a former training area for World War II pilots) and began showing his work. And just as the town originally came to be as a water stop for trains in the 1800s, it soon became a tiny hub for some of the country’s most creative thinkers, from painters to musicians to keen-eyed woodworkers. 

The owners of this unusual store have a wry sense of humor when it comes to the confluence of aesthetics and safety. They both keep a pet coyote and have rigged up a golden security camera on site—part art installation and part protection from thieves.