Seguin Art League- The Big Give SA


The Seguin Art League is making a real difference in the cultural life of Seguin and the surrounding areas.  Your support will help us to expand these opportunities to the children of our area, aspiring artists, and those who enjoy the arts.  Be a part of our mission to open a center for the arts in Seguin as we renovate our building at 104 S. Austin St., Seguin, Texas.

Join us on May 3rd for The Big Give S.A.

Thank you for supporting the Seguin Art League!


State of the Organization Address

End of Soto sm

Photo courtesy of
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.


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 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: 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:

By: Mariah Kilbourne

Seguin Economic Development Specialist

Mandela-Nelle: Interview and Article


Mandela-Nelle interview by Darren Dunn KWED

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.


The Flying Leaves at Texas Lutheran University

The Unveiling Ceremony

“The Flying Leaves”

Texas Lutheran University

Student Alumni Center
November 14, 2014


Dr. Stuart Dorsey President, TLU

Dr. Stuart Dorsey
President, TLU


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"

The Flying Leaves
American Walnut
H 24″ W 108″ D 2″

Flying Leaves C








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.

The artists

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.

Dennis Martin and Marika Bordes

Claude Parsons Memorial Award

Mandela-Nelle (Bronze) Earns

The Claude Parsons Memorial Award

The American Artists Professional League

86th  Grand National Exhibition

Salmagundi Club, New York City

 Jury of Awards:

Claudia Seymour (Internationally known Master still life painter in oil and pastel, President Emeritus of the Salmagundi Club, NYC)

Elizabeth Spencer (Award winning Resident Artist.  Member of the Salmagundi Club.  Life member of the Art Students League.)

Photos (3) The original, “Metal Check” and Bronze
Mandela-Nelle Original: Pecan

Mandela-Nelle Original: Pecan

Mandela-Belle during "metal Check" and before patina.   Location: Deep in the Heart Foundry, Bastrop, TX

Mandela-Belle during “metal check” and before patina
Location: Deep in the Heart Foundry, Bastrop, TX