Touchstones of the Inspired Life- Episode 2: On Tour with Jayne Lawless

Jayne Lawless is a multi-disciplinary artist from Liverpool, United Kingdom.  She shares with us her experiences in creating the North End Sketch Club and the Dead Pigeon Gallery and bringing their concepts to Kingsbury, TX (2010 census population 782) during her three-months artist-in-residence program at Habitable Spaces, a not-for-profit community arts and agricultural project.

 

Touchstones of the Inspired Life – Episode 1: Unbury the Joy

This is the first episode of Touchstones of the Inspired Life from the Marika Sculptures Podcasting Studios in the Guadalupe River Valley at Seguin, TX.  Our guest is Cathy Fennel, voice actor and writer.

 

Thank you for listening to Touchstones of the Inspired Life podcast.  If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at marikasculptures@gmail.com.  We hope you fill your journey with enthusiasm, discipline, creativity and inspiration.

 

 

God Among Us

In the beginning:

IMG_2950

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.  The  artist 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.   

Progress:

IMG_0014

Completion:

God Among Us

Photo courtesy of Matt Chase Photography

Unveiling:

Unveiling Ceremony 1

 

A Sculptural Prayer

Do not gaze at it

But sink into it through your eyes, and

Feel its intensity under your skin.

Do not just think about it, instead,

Meditate on it 

Let it carry you to the unknown

Fast, Far and Forever

To a whole universe …

To embrace the glory of creation and

The Creator

State of the Organization Address

End of Soto sm

Photo courtesy of http://www.bilsullivanphotography.com
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,

Distinguished Guests,

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.

Thank you.

 

Celebrate the Arts in Seguin- ArtsFest 2015, March 21

For a fun-filled day that includes a run/walk, poetry reading (Marika is a participant), performing arts, both music and theatre, an artisans market, Zumba exercises, and a dogs for art competition.  In the evening at the Texas Theatre there is a silent art auction (Marika has two pieces), wine and beer tastings, food, live music by the Dirty River Dixie Band and the announcement of the 2015 Outstanding Contributor to the Arts.   Join us at Seguin’s ArtFest 2015 on Saturday, March 21.

For the complete schedule of events and a description of events see below the following image.

11728_858793267497226_2920840858813581151_n

ArtsFest 2015 Schedule

Color Me Nutty Fun Run/Walk (8:30 – 11:00 a.m.)
This is a 5K color run/walk in at the Pecan Bottom Multi-Use Trail at Max Starcke Park. The paint is tempera paint which is non-toxic and 100% safe. The color is not fully washable from clothing but will rinse off skin in appropriate time. The paint does not contain soy, latex, casein, dairy, egg, gluten, peanut or tree root.
Registration for the Color Me Nutty 5K Run/Walk prior to March 15 is $20 and includes a t-shirt. Registration after March 15 remains $20 but does not include a t-shirt. Registration on the day of the event is $25 and does not include a t-shirt. The Kids Color Me Nutty Fun Run includes a 50-yard dash for ages 1-3 and a one mile run for ages 4-12. Registration by March 15 is $10 and includes a t-shirt. Registration after that date, including the day of the event, remains $10 but does not include a t-shirt. Registration is available at athleteguild.com. Simply search “Color Me Nutty 5K Fun Run/Walk” in the search bar at the top right of the homepage.

Poetry Reading (10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)
Listen to poets, young and old, while enjoying a nice cup of coffee at Court Street Coffee Shop.

Artisan’s Market (10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
Shop a variety of vendors selling handmade items in Central Park. If you are interested in having a booth at the market, fill out an application at the Main Street website: http://www.seguintexas.gov/main_street/detail/artsfest or pick up an application at the Main Street Program office at 211 North River Street.

Zumba in the Park (10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)
Enjoy a fast paced dance exercise program in Central Park.

Seguin High School Theater Performance (11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.)
Catch select scenes from the high school’s One Act Play in Central Park.

Katie Poth Performance (12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
Performance by local vocalist, Katie Poth in the Central Park Band Stand.

Navarro Jazz Band (12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.)
Performance by the Navarro Jazz Band in the Central Park Band Stand.

Poochanga (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
Central Park goes to the dogs for an art competition specifically for your K9 friend. Bring your dog in its best, most creative outfit to the Band Stand in Central Park. Suggested donation of $10.

The Seguin High School and Junior High Mariachis (2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
The Seguin High School and Junior High Mariachis perform in the Central Park Band Stand.

CelebrARTe (7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
An evening of art, live music, great food, wine and beer tastings from local artisans, and great company all in the beautiful Texas Theater. Bid on items in the Silent Auction where all proceeds will benefit the Seguin Art League’s renovation of the Klein Opera House. Seguin’s 2014 Outstanding Contributor to the Arts will be announced as well. Pre-sale tickets are available at $25, and tickets at the door will be $30

Description of Events

Seguin’s annual celebration of the arts is quickly approaching. ArtsFest 2015 will include a Color Me Nutty Fun Run and Walk, Poetry Reading, Artisan’s Market, Zumba in the Park, Seguin High School Theater Performance, Pet Poochanga and CelebrARTe all in downtown Seguin. Events kick off early on Saturday, March 21, 2015 and wrap up late in the evening.
CelebrARTe is a special evening of art, live music, great food, wine and beer tastings from local artisans, and great company all in the beautiful Texas Theater. Attendees can bid on items in the Silent Auction where all proceeds will benefit the Seguin Art League’s renovation of the Klein Opera House, the new home of the Seguin Art League.
“The events for CelebrARTe include a silent art auction, wine and beer tasting from Blue Lotus Winery and Seguin Brewing,” Kim Schmitt, Seguin Commission on the Arts Board Chairperson, said. “The beer tasting will be new this year. There will be appetizers from The Power Plant Texas Grill, live entertainment from The Dirty River Dixie Band, and the announcement of Seguin’s outstanding contributor to the arts.”
CelebrARTe tickets are available at Gift and Gourmet and Court Street Coffee Shop. They can also be purchased from any Arts Commission Member. They are $25 pre-sale and $30 at the door. A keepsake wine glass and three beer or wine tasting tickets are included in the price of the ticket.
“Proceeds from CelebrARTe go towards the funding of public art in Seguin,” Schmitt said. “We are currently sponsoring a video contest highlighting the arts in Seguin and looking into a mural project. This year proceeds from the art auction will go to the Seguin Art League to help with the restoration of the Klein Opera House.”
ArtsFest celebrates art of all forms in Seguin.
“We have so many talented artists in Seguin and many admirers and supporters of the arts. This is a wonderful opportunity for artists, community members, family, and friends to gather and celebrate the arts in Seguin,” Schmitt, said. “My favorite part of ArtsFest is the art auction. As an artist myself, I always enjoy seeing what other artists are doing. This event is a great way to showcase artists in our community and to bring art to the public.”
For more information about ArtsFest 2015 call: (830) 401-2448 or visit: http://www.seguintexas.gov/main_street/detail/artsfest.

By: Mariah Kilbourne

Seguin Economic Development Specialist

Mandela-Nelle: Interview and Article

 

Mandela-Nelle interview by Darren Dunn KWEDhttps://marikaarts.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/interview-kwed-12-01-14-12314-7-29-pm.mp3

Mandela-Nelle Bronze

Mandela-Nelle
Bronze

Article from Seguin Today by Cindy Aguirre-Herrera on 12/02/2014 

National attention drawn to work of local artist; Local sculpture receives award in national fine art exhibition

(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.