When asked me to write an artist statement for the sculpture, I said yes without blinking an eye.My understanding was, I would go through the genesis of the sculpture in explaining the experience of my journey while carving the flesh of the wood.
The reality we foresee this day is difficult to explain because the work is based on a strong feeling of faith.From the conception to the finished artwork, I tried to capture a moment in its eternity.Theartist in me created something that she does not fully comprehend.The sculpture is the fruit of the changing seasons of my roots from soils of many cultures.It is also a strong belief in the divine rather than a proof in itself.I am just an instrument in His hands.This being said, I consider it is more important for the artwork to speak for itself without intervention or explanation.
Ideally, a two-way avenue of communication flows between the Creator and the viewer allowing his mind to wander in prayer.The visible is something different for everyone.While my explanation can be useful to the viewer for exploration and consideration, it can also limit or constrict the possible responses.
State of the Organization Address to the Seguin Art League at Texas Lutheran University on January 09, 2016 (duration: 16:30)
The State of the Organization Address
Fellow Art League Members,
Welcome to our State of the Organization Address and thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to attend this gathering. We extend our gratitude to Tom Engler for his beautiful and inspiring music and to Mary Jo Langford for the insightful presentation on the arts in our community. Wow! What a great way to refresh and continue on the journey for this new year.
Connecting the arts and the community: this is our purpose.
What does the Seguin Art League do for the community?
Are we just a group of artists looking for a place to show and sell our art, or, are we a cultural beacon for the community?
Let’s look at the record.
In order to understand our involvement in the community, we need to take a look at the past. Since 1982, the art league has been moving and shaping the cultural landscape of Seguin by providing scholarships for local students, having exhibitions, hosting demonstrations and workshops, and actively participating in Seguin sponsored events such as, ArtsFest, Earth Day, Pecan Fest, Trade Days, and the Holiday and Fourth of July parades.
During 2015, as in other years, we organized art exhibitions for the public to enjoy. We had two exhibits just for students: one for elementary and middle schools and the other for high schools. The remaining exhibits included one for painting, another for photography, one all media, and a members only show.
In August, two of our members held a Summer Art Camp called “Super Heroes” for children of all ages, teaching a variety of media and techniques.
As part of our fundraising efforts, we held 3 silent auctions.
In December we hosted YuleFest the annual fine crafts sale at the coliseum,
To support the arts in Seguin, two of our members are on the advisory board of The Seguin Commission for the Arts.
Artists are not timid in their dreams. Innovation does not happen without creative minds injecting constructive possibilities and alternatives to the status quo. To advance the arts, we embarked on a fantastic journey. We needed to expand cultural horizons. We needed a home, we bought a building. We started a new journey.
With enthusiasm and grit members made the initial steps. Teams formed to clear and clean the building. The art league received an early boost from the Seguin Main Street Program’s Fix-it Facade and with local contractors the front of the building received a facelift. Members went to work hosting fundraisers, submitting grants, requesting estimates to repair or replace the old and leaky roof. A new member with an engineering background along with others began the work of hiring an engineering company to study the structural integrity of the building. With the study and the final report nearly complete, we will soon have cost estimates for the necessary repairs for the roof, walls and foundation. At the meeting next Saturday, you will hear a status report of the findings to date.
With the building, there is good news and there is bad news. The bad news is we have a building. The transformation of our home into a center for the arts calls out like a new-born for a colossal amount of tender loving care. No longer the art league of yesterday, we are new parents with responsibility to raise this child into adulthood. We must heed the clarion call for hard work and nurturing, endurance and resilience, intelligence and inspiration.
The good news is we have a building. What a gift it is, a blank canvas to write our legacy. Who better to nurture a building than artists whose purpose in life is to fill emptiness with beauty and perspective. What makes me burn with passion for this journey is you. This is a membership organization overflowing with goodwill, electrified energy, unbounded creativity and desire. The beauty of the Art League is that it is more than a building; it is you. Let us spread our creative wings. Each of us is a rich and vibrant tapestry of life with knowledge and wisdom. Our stories connect us to the past and the place where we stand today.
Have you seen the amazing, creative responses to the problems facing us? In order to receive hotel and occupancy tax funding, we needed to capture geographical data about visitors. We had them place their zip code on the back of raffle tickets. This was so clever, a city council member used it as an example for other organizations to follow. Look at how we created a water catchment system for the leaking roof, or found a way to raise money with leftover wood found in the building. By the way, the wooden christmas ornaments were just adorable and a success.
The renovation of the building may appear overwhelming, yet we are moving forward. We are improving our organizational capacity through a major revision of our Bylaws and Standing Rules. Efforts are under way for a strategic plan for the organization, a masterplan for the building, plans for improving community outreach and for development. I am not saying that we are not going to have our moments of: “Houston we have a problem” but we shall endure and thrive.
The destiny of our building, the Klein Opera House, is to be the locomotive that propels the Art League into its role as a cultural force/beacon in the community. This home of the arts is a promise for the future, a blank canvas that will enable people to tell their story, to share their talents and combine their passions. Our dream for this town of a grandiose space is to not only share our art but to welcome the works of artists from around the globe. We do this to let Seguin shine by connecting the arts with the community so that everyone feels a little bit taller and a little bit happier.
Great things happen when a community comes together for a common cause. Look at the economic development activities with all new businesses moving here. Three bond issues passed by an overwhelming majority of the citizens for education, knowledge and recreation. Texas Lutheran University opened a department of nursing, a sports stadium and there are plans for the Caroline M. Westin Performing Arts Center. A new boutique hotel restaurant is now open on the square. Seguin is in motion and entering a golden age and we are an important part of it. Our future is bright.
Now is the time, today is the day. We embark on our finest hour bound to the common cause. At this historic moment, everybody’s slice of genius must be unleashed and harnessed to turn the wheels of progress into a collective and sustainable solution for this endeavor. Each of us has the responsibility for the success or failure of this organization. We are here today to promise that we shall get to the promised land together. For this mission, failure is not an option.
May God bless us and May God bless the Seguin Art League and May God bless the most talented town in the Guadalupe Valley.
(Seguin) — A local artist has been recognized by one of the most prestigious groups in the nation. Sculptor Marika Bordes was named the recipient of the “Claude Parsons Memorial Award.”
The award was presented by the American Artists Professional League (AAPL) during its 86th Grand National Exhibition. The presentation was made by AAPL President Peter Rossi during the group’s annual meeting and awards reception held at the Salmagundi Club in New York City.
Each year, the non-profit AAPL accepts a number of fine arts for consideration. The application alone, however, is competitive in that not everyone is allowed to participate in the contest.
Bordes, who received the award for her bronze sculpture entitled, “Mandela-Nelle” says she is appreciative to have been extended an award especially since this was her first attempt to enter the contest.
“The American Artist Professional League and the Salmagundi Club are two prestigious organizations and it is difficult to have your art accepted by the American Artist Professional League and have it exhibited at the Salmagundi Club. I was very excited to learn that Mandela-Nelle was accepted into the 86th Grand National Exhibition. I don’t know how many artists submitted applications but entries were from all 50 states as well as internationally,” said Bordes.
Each year, the organization hosts its Grand National Exhibition, a show that highlights major and emerging professional artists in oil, watercolor, pastel, sculpture, graphics and mixed media.
Bordes says on top of the national recognition, she is honored to have had her artwork exhibited in the show. She says only 29 sculptures were selected.
“It’s a woman. It’s kind of a girl and it’s an African American and she’s standing kind of walking very proud. She has a lot of pride in herself. That’s how I was picturing her when I was working on the piece,” said Bordes.
Bordes says the accomplishment is indeed one of her finest moments professionally.
“It is truly an honor to receive the Claude Parson’s memorial award particularly because of the professional stature of the judges. Along with the award certificate, the organizations sent an award plaque to affix to the base of the sculpture and a press release announcing that a Seguin artist from Texas is the recipient of the 2014 award and I think this is awesome and it filled me with joy,” said Bordes.
This year, the group highlights the achievements of 298 artists. The AAPL has devoted itself to the cause of fine arts in America since 1928.
Mr. Rick Roberts, Vice-President for Development and Alumni Relations
Comments by Marika:
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the debut of The Flying Leaves.
Creativity flowers in the doing, in the experiencing of life, and in having community. Over 30,000 years ago, artists connected their communities by creating art on the walls of caves. Since, the methods of artists have changed while the impulse to connect has not. “The Flying Leaves,” are a perfect example.
In commissioning this Bas-relief wood sculpture, the TLU Development Office called upon the creativity of our community to make a statement out of a piece of American walnut.
As a great force of nature capable of spreading beauty and understanding, this piece of wood pictures the clear channel of spiritual communion between the university and the students. Thank you TLU for giving us the opportunity to connect with you through a state of creative grace and a sense of the sublime.
I would like to pay tribute to a friend Dr. Evelyn Streng who left us today. She was a constant inspiration in the making of the leaves. She did not handle mallet and chisels but truly she had a hand in fashioning the message of the sculpture. In September she told me that even if she is not present for the unveiling ceremony she will be there with us.
Having you here today is a truly humbling experience. So allow me to end now by thanking each and every one of you for celebrating the arts and for being part of this community.
The Flying Leaves American Walnut H 24″ W 108″ D 2″
Plaque for “Flying Leaves”
The TLU Development Office project begins with straight-forward design specifications of a tree and leaves for the artwork. From there, the idea flows into the realm of visual artistry. The rendezvous of ideas and art leads to a tree with a strong trunk deeply rooted to a rich landscape. Carrying the essence of the concept into a Bas-relief wood sculpture, a locally harvested American Walnut, gives birth to “The Flying Leaves”.
The symbolism behind the tree and the leaves is the interconnectivity between the university and its graduates.
The tree with its many limbs, represents Texas Lutheran University;
The flying leaves are the graduating students who after a period of learning boldly leave the university with the mission of “Live to Inspire”; and
The landscape is the journey ahead into the greater community.
The wisdom of the narrative resides in the harmonious cycle of this interconnectivity. The seeds of knowledge germinate, the leaves spread the news and the world becomes a better place.
Marika (Marie-Carmel Bordes) a Seguin artist, originally from the Caribbean Island of Haiti, is the official sculptor of “The Flying Leaves”. With a wonderful moment of celebration in mind, she leads the concept of the Bas-relief sculpture with the assistance of Howard E. Crunk, a TLU graduate in the arts, class of 2007. Together with mallet and chisels, they testify to the indelible legacy of the alma mater and the alumni.
Address: Forty-Seven Fifth Avenue, New York, 10003
Show dates: Monday, November 10 – Friday, November 21, 2014
Announcements of Awards: Sunday, November 16, 2014
The American Artists Professional League
National Art Exhibition:
In its ongoing effort to promote and encourage artists specializing in realistic art forms, the AAPL has staged a Grand National Exhibition for over 83 years. Each year, hundreds of applicants from all 50 states in all media submit their work for review by a selection committee consisting of professional artists in the fields of oil, watermedia, pastel and graphics and sculpture.
In January 1928, F. Ballard Williams, Assistant Treasurer of the National Academy of Design in New York, called a meeting of fifteen members of the Salmagundi Club. The purpose: to discuss the need for a national organization to meet the increasing interests in traditional realism in American art. Most attending were prominent academicians of their day. The attendees all agreed that an organization designed to protect artists’ interests and promote traditional American art was necessary and The American Artists Professional League (AAPL) was born.
The Salmagundi Club
Founded in 1871, the Salmagundi Club is one of the oldest art organizations in the United States. Housed in an historic brownstone mansion in Greenwich Village, New York City, the Club offers programs including art classes, exhibitions, painting demonstrations, and art auctions throughout the year for members and the general public.
The Club owns a collection of over 1,500 works of art spanning its 140 year history and has a membership of nearly 850 artists and patrons. Its members have included important American artists such as Thomas Moran, William Merritt Chase, Louis Comfort Tiffany, N.C. Wyeth and Childe Hassam. Today the Club builds on this legacy by providing a center for the resurgence of representational art in America.
The Salmagundi facilities include three galleries, a library, an elegant period parlor, and a restaurant and bar with vintage pool tables.
The 2014 Art Hop is a statewide juried art exhibit, organized by Georgetown Art Works. The Art Hop is held in 5 different venues in downtown Georgetown, TX that are within 5 minutes walking distance from one another.
The Little Prince will be on exhibit:
The Georgetown Art Center
816 South Main Street
October 3 – October 30, 2014
Sunday: 1:00 to 5:00 PM
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Artist Reception and Awards:
Saturday, October 11 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
The Georgetown Art Center
Georgetown Venues to view the work of artists from 57 cities from around Texas:
The Georgetown Art Center- 816 South Main Street
Artisans Connect Gallery- 122 East 8th Street
Cianfranni Coffee Company- 109 West 7th Street
The Georgetown Public Library- 402 West 8th Street
Red Poppy Coffee Company- (Inside the Public Library); 402 West 8th Street
The Georgetown Art Center:
Georgetown Art Works and the City of Georgetown have partnered to transform Fire Station One in historic downtown Georgetown in the Georgetown Art Center. The art center provides a welcoming environment for visitors to view, appreciate, create and purchase art. There is a gift shop.
A second place award went to The Beggar at the New Braunfels Art League Gallery exhibition Art in the Hills. Landa King, Chair of the Department of Visual Arts Texas Lutheran University, was the juror. She commented:
Sensitive to the wood, in this case Mesquite wood, the viewer feels the weight of the beggar as possibly the beggar bears the weight of the World. Beautiful execution of “oneness” between the sculptor and the medium.
The Beggar Mesquite H17″ W11″ D11.5″
The Thinker earned a second place award at the 2014 Texas Society of Sculptors/Georgetown Public Library. The juror, Kris Whitfield President of the Round Rock Arts Council, stated:
The tipping of the hat and the expression on the face makes him look deep in thought. I love the elongated neck and arms which is such a contrast to Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’.
Sculpting wood is a time-consuming and labor-intensive effort requiring imagination and discipline. This brief video gives the viewer a window to the sculptor’s arduous journey from a piece of raw wood to a finished work of art. Join the sculptor as she creates the following sculptures:
The sculpture is a commission to celebrates the birth of a first grandchild.
The Little Prince
Marika made this sculpture as the center piece for her solo exhibition at Bihl Haus Arts.
The Flying Leaves
The Flying Leaves, a work-in-progress, is a commission for Texas Lutheran University.