Bihl Haus Arts: Comments & Press Release

Comment from the Bihl Haus

Only from the heart . ., which opens at Bihl Haus on May 16,  features more than a dozen works by Haitian-born sculptor Marika Bordes.  They combine influences from Marika’s early years with teacher Francois Sanon in Haiti, who works in the Afro-Caribben tradition, and contemporary art from her time in New York and Quebec.  The resulting works in wood speak to the artist’s love of the material, understanding of the human form, and flawless skill with chisel and mallet.  We’ll also be premiering the new catalog of Marika’s sculpture, which will be available for purchase.



The Bihl Haus Press Release

A little bit of Haiti in SA!

Exhibit of Elegant Wood Carvings by Haitian-Born


Opens May 16th @ Bihl Haus Arts

WHAT:  Only from the Heart. . .  

WHEN: Opening Reception: Friday, May 16, 5:30-8:30 pm

WHERE: Bihl Haus Arts, 2803 Fredericksburg Road (inside the gates of Primrose at Monticello Park Senior Apartments and across from the Tip Top Café)        

WHO: Sculptor Marika Bordes

WHY: Bihl Haus Arts is pleased to present “Only from the Heart . . . “, an exhibit of more than a dozen works in wood by Haitian-born sculptor Marika Bordes.  The centerpiece of the exhibit is “The Little Prince” (2014). This enchanting carving of a boy, his fox and the rose is inspired by the WWII French novella of the same name (which the artist can recite by heart in French) by author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  The title of the exhibit draws on Marika’s favorite quotation from the book, wisdom passed to the little prince from the lonely fox he tamed: “One sees clearly only from the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”  

In this exhibit, we see with our hearts–the works are tender, romantic, sensitive—as well as with our eyes and with our minds—they are brilliantly conceived, flawlessly executed.  Much like the French author who whittled down his original 30,000-word manuscript to less than half, Marika carved and chiseled an enormous 300-pound oak limb to reveal the essence of her own little prince.  Crowned by curly locks and dressed in flowing cape and baggy pants, Marika’s boy dons forged metal boots that ground him firmly to the earth. To his chest he clutches a rose, his rose, his responsibility now because it, too, like the fox, has been tamed.

Other works in the exhibit are based in reverie, dreams transformed into chiseled and polished woods, some embellished with added materials— a bit of ebony, a semi-precious stone, forged elements.  In Dream to Fairytale (2013), what was once a knobby root is now a dreamlike womb, the birthing place of a goddess.  In other works, the human form is abstracted, elegant, long and lean, as in Grace (2010), a dancer-like apparition with ebony face and body of Bois d’Arc, a dense golden-orange wood native to Arkansas and parts of Texas.  One theme that prevails in all of Marika’s work, however, is her love for the feel of the wood, the elegant twists of its branches, the subtle changes in its texture and tone. 

“Only from the Heart. . . “ opens with a free public reception at Bihl Haus Arts on Friday, May 16, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, which also features authentic Haitian foods and live music.  The exhibit continues through June 12, 2014. Related events include:

•Saturday, May 31, 2 pm: “The Little Prince as Inspiration,” an artist talk and sculpting demonstration by Marika Bordes, with a focus on The Little Prince (2014), created especially for this exhibit.

•Saturday, June 14, 2 pm: “Haiti Today,” a gallery talk by Artist Marika Bordes and Dr. Ruth Berggren, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics (UTHSCSA), who spent her childhood in Haiti and now heads a medical mission there.

From Dream to Fairytale

From Dream to Fairytale

About the Artist: Born on the Caribbean Island of Haiti amid towering trees, exotic flowers and mountains, then educated in a boarding school in Quebec, Canada, Marika (Marie Carmen) Bordes captured the best of two worlds.   From 1996 to 2001, she studied with Haitian master wood sculptor Francois Sanon, who at first glance told her, “Madam, you can carve!”  During this time, galleries exhibited her Afro-Caribbean-inspired work, she taught sculpting and Haiti National Television produced a documentary about her art.  

From 2001 to 2005, Marika spent time in Montreal and New York City developing and expanding her artistic talents.  In New York, she studied drawing at the Student Art League under Terence Coyle, worked with Sanon, and received awards in 2002 and 2003 at the Rencontre des Arts.   Also while in New York, The Pen and Brush, an international membership organization founded over 100 years ago for women professionally active in the arts, awarded Marika first prize in the 2003 African-American Art Exhibition.

In 2005, Marika moved to Seguin, Texas, with husband Dennis Martin, where her studio is located today.  Her efforts as an artist and arts activist have earned recognition. Peter Trippi, editor of Fine Art Connoisseur and juror of the San Antonio Art League and Museum’s 82nd Annual Artists Exhibition selected Marika for the Ann Griffith Ash Donor Award.  Her sculpture The King and The Queen won honorable mention at the Texas Society of Sculptors competition at the Georgetown Public Library.  For her community involvement, The Seguin Commission on the Arts awarded the artist the 2014 Arts Enrichment Award for outstanding contributions to and participation in the arts.   

Dancing with Mermaids (detail)

Dancing with Mermaids (detail)

Texas Lutheran University 2014 Annual Student Art Show

“Must See”


This beautifully arranged art show is the proof that vision and talent are thriving in our Seguin community.  Located at the Schuech Fine Arts Center, the show closes May 8.  This display of art is an excellent occasion to realize what is being taught at the university in our town.   Visit and experience that breath of fresh air from our next generation of artists.

Kyle Olson, Assistant Professor, The Department of Visual Arts, invited Marika Bordes and Dennis Martin to jury the Annual Student Art Show.  What an honor!  Thank you TLU for allowing us to be part of such an awesome venue.  The students inspired us with their creativity, professional presentation of work, and diversity and depth of expression.  Kudos must go to the teaching staff for unrelentingly bringing out, year after year, the best in their students.  We are proud of you.

First place honors for 2D went to:

Emily Ullrich for “Peppers n’ Onions” an oil on canvas still life.

At the opening reception, Emily surprised us with the news that the painting was her first using oil.  Bravo!

Jurors’ Comments:

Physical presentation of the artwork:  is of high standard.

Conception in the planning of the art piece: is clearly executed.

Mastery of the medium: is evident.

Rendering of the use of light:  is well executed.

The WOW! factors: are lighting and texture.

Peppers n' Onions

Peppers n’ Onions

First place honors for 3D went to:

Cason Miller for “The Cyclops” a wood sculpture made from an old chair.  Cason is planning a visit to Marika’s studio.  We look forward to his visit.

Juror’s Comments:

Creativity:   It stands out from the crowd.

The presentation of the subject is done in a way that it had not been done before.

Artistic design: There is a sense of balance.

The impact: Brings all the elements together to create a positive impact with recycled materials.

The Cyclops

The Cyclops

For the President’s 2014 Christmas Card, a committee selected the art of Mary Grace  Riddle.  Mary also has excellent paintings of dog portraits.  Wait until you see Ms. Juliet, the dog with the pleading-for-goodies look in her eyes.

Ms. Juliet

Ms. Juliet

Jurors Statement

Texas Lutheran University

2014 Annual Student Art Show

Pushing the limits of the craft and creativity of art best describes the 2014 Annual Texas Lutheran University Student Art Show.  The most important elements of the show are:

  1. The jurors felt the artists followed many different avenues in medium and subject matter for the sheer joy of expression.
  2. One senses the strong effort in the use of technique, lighting and composition in the creative process.
  3. The jurors very much appreciated the creativity of vision found in the art.

We used the following criteria in jurying the show:

1. Creativity in:

subject, interpretation and vision;

2. Artistic design:

lines, sense of balance, and composition;

3. Knowledge of the medium:

technique and execution;

4. Presentation of the art form:

degree of excellence in presenting the artwork: and

5. Impact:

Impact overall, and the WOW! Factor.

Nota bene emerging artists:

Our recommendation to each of you who entered the show is continue developing technique and creativity.  Enjoy the world of art, its inspiration and your place in it.

May you have a creative life.

Marika Bordes and Dennis Martin


In the left column of this page are links to the Department of Visual Arts under “Art Organizations” and to Professor Kyle Olson and art student Mary Grace Riddle under “Artists”.


Photos of Gwaihir by Don Simpson


Don Simpson is a photographer and instructor.   He recently took a series of photos of Gwaihir a sculpture over fourteen feet tall.  To create the photographs, he used a technique called HDR, High Dynamic Range imagining.  You can contact Don Simpson at: or 512.591.7728.

Don has given us permission to use the photos in the soon to be published “Marika: The Path of a Sculptor”.

We hope you enjoy the photos.

Gwaihir- detail

Gwaihir- detail


Gwaihir is a mythological eagle in the “Lord of the Rings.”  He is key to the success of The Fellowship of the Ring that sets out to save Middle Earth from the evils of Mordor.  Gwaihir saves the wizard Gandalf the Gray from the Tower of Isengard and when Mount Doom erupts, he rescues the Hobbits, Frodo and Sam.  Without this eagle, the salvation of Middle Earth was lost.



Gwaihir is currently on loan to the Georgetown Public Library in Georgetown, TX.