Our campus in West Texas is located in a beautiful section of the Chihuahuan Desert 10 miles from the boundary of Big Bend National Park and just over an hour from the arts hub of Marfa, TX.

To keep up to date on events and programs, sign up for our Newsletter and follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Contact us at info@constructivearts.org.

Programs


Techniques Training


SCA will host two week-long workshops in spring 2023. In the first workshop, participants will construct a compost toilet from foundation to roof using compressed earth block and learn about off-grid waste management techniques in the process. In the second course, students will delve into more technical earth block construction by building a large barrel vault roof for a small 500 s.f. structure. Details to come.

SCA hosts classes for community members, tradespeople, and individuals interested in building their own homes. Expert craftspeople are brought in to teach programs centering on the collaborative construction of a building or building component. By training people in a range of environmentally suitable techniques, SCA aims to expand the variety of available construction methods, improve the quality and sustainability of building practices, and empower people to construct quality homes for themselves using available materials.

Hugo Ramos teaching adobe brick making


Student Volunteers


We will be hosting Student Volunteers for a 6-week period between February 26th and April 9th of 2023, with a one-week intermission. Slots are limited to four volunteers. If you are interested in participating, please email info@constructivearts.org.

The student volunteer program is at the core of SCA’s plan to teach through building and build through teaching.  Student volunteers learn a range of skills while working on building facilities for future student volunteers to use. In addition to building projects, recent student volunteers helped organize community events, taught arts workshops, and participated in field trips to Ojinaga, The Chinati Foundation, The McDonald Observatory, and Big Bend National Park. Living communally, working with each other, and with the local community, volunteers will learn practical skills and develop their leadership and teamwork abilities. This lived training is augmented by educational programs that connect the work to concepts of ecology, construction, and holistic design. By instilling these values and equipping young people with practical skills and experience, SCA aims to send resident volunteers back to their communities motivated and empowered to enact positive change and more fully realize their own potentials.


Earth Block Production


We are investing in equipment and facilities to manufacture environmentally sound construction materials locally in the Big Bend. The most significant of these is compressed earth block (CEB) which combines the environmental, comfort, and health benefits of earthen construction with the efficiency of modern manufacturing. Compressed earth block walls are fireproof, bug-proof, sound-proof, and bullet-proof. They mitigate extreme changes in heat and humidity, creating a comfortable indoor environment, and earth blocks are healthy for the environment as a whole. They utilize readily available, local materials, require very little energy or water to manufacture, generate no harmful waste, last for centuries, and create buildings which are energy-efficient to operate.

We are fortunate to be partnering with Jim Hallock, a master builder who for decades has advanced the use of earth block through research, advocacy, and the construction of projects around the world. With Jim’s guidance we are establishing an earth block production plant and are beginning to produce earth blocks on the Terlingua Ranch. If you are interested in building with earth block contact us for details.

Agriculture & Cultivation


Our food comes increasingly from remote, industrial-scale operations. This shift detaches people from what sustains them and requires profitable but inefficient and inequitable systems of distribution. Up to 40% of food in the United States ends up in landfills (FDA). Distancing food production from the places we live also eliminates the potential for productive interrelations between the built environment and plant life. Buildings create microclimates, shade, and wind shelter, catch rain water and radiate heat. A home can provide not only shelter but food, and the School of Constructive Arts believes that it should. We will design with the interrelation of agriculture and architecture in mind. We will plant a vegetable garden and fruit trees at our campus and host workshops on low-water agriculture, soil building, and natural farming.

Get Involved


We are a young organization and have many needs.

If you have skills in social media, grant writing, web development, book keeping, we would like to hear from you. Please email us at info@constructivearts.org.

Local to the Big Bend? Come join us for an event or day of work. 

Have knowledge and ideas to share or test? Contact us about teaching a program. We aim to provide an open platform for teaching, knowledge exchange, and experimentation. 

Have items to donate? Email us. We are always grateful for tools, books, equipment, building supplies, solar panels, water tanks, household items, outdoor gear, and more.

Spread the word!