Texas Lutheran University Chapel Talk for Women’s History Month

At the invitation of Rev. Greg Ronning, Marika gave a chapel talk to give tribute to  Women’s History Month.  The title of the presentation is “The Quiet Strength”.

Click here to see Texas Lutheran University’s YouTube video of the presentation: The Quiet Strength
Click here to hear the presentation: 

Excerpt from presentation:

The title of my presentation is:

The Quiet Strength

The life of a woman is like a Carousel

This is a truth that follows a woman

from childhood, through puberty, to womanhood.

The sculpture you see here is “Carousel of Women’s Life.”

Twelve years ago, after a period of reflection, I set out with mallet, chisel, and wood to tell a story.  The nature of wood is to guide the sculptor’s hands that hold the mallet and chisel.  Thus it left six women on a raft floating on the uncertain seas of life searching to discover:

        •   What is the life of a woman?
        •   Is there a meaning to our struggle?
        •   What do we bring to humanity?

From babyhood, to motherhood, to the dusk of life, this sculpture portrays the strengths and struggles of women to overcome the shackles of Madison Avenue appetites, the distractions of the flotsam and jetsam of this world, and the blasphemies of false prophets.  They rise to the call to nurture, guide, and move humanity through uncharted waters.

Marika and Evelyn Streng

Marika and Rev. Greg Ronning

Presentation at the University of Texas El Paso to the Upward Bound Students

This podcast is from Marika’s presentation to the Upward Bound Program students at the University of Texas  at El Paso Union Cinema on  Saturday, April 16, 2011.  On the preceding day, Marika made the presentation at the Riverside High School, Ysleta Independent School District and then at the Chapin High School, El Paso Independent School District.  

Click here to hear the presentation:

Upward Bound Program

Union Cinema


Upward Bound Students



Marika with Maria Yanar

Riverside High School


Marika receiving certificate of appreciation from Rick Boisselier and Melissa Barba-Espinosa

Dr. Richard Padilla

Riverside High School Students

Chapin High School


Teacher Ana Valdez and Chapin High School Students

Chapin High School Students

Presentation at the University of Texas El Paso to the Methods of Teaching Art Class

Professor David McIntyre

Click here to hear the presentation:

Recently, Marika at the request of the University of Texas El Paso Art Department made a presentation to Professor Dave McIntyre’s class “Methods of Teaching Art”.

Marika urged the future teachers of Texas children: 

“Along your path

            • As an artist: share ideas 
            • As a teacher: encourage each creative spirit
            • As a creative person: continue to learn and appreciate life’s lessons.”



              Dr. Richard Padilla

Creativity and Sustainability- Presentation to FCS Texas AgriLife


The Guadalupe County Office of the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) a part of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M System invited Marika to make a presentation to their members. AgriLife Extension offers practical information for families: raising children, housing and environment, eating well, managing money, and staying healthy.  http://fcs.tamu.edu

The topic was “Creativity and Sustainability.”  Here is an excerpt:

So many times, in so many ways, we hear that sustainability and creativity are mutually exclusive.  This perception is wrong and this is why.

By designing and building attractive objects, we will slow down the cycle of obsolescence because people will appreciate their beauty and want to protect them.

By preserving and beautifying our parks and gardens, we will create a healthier environment  for our families and future generations.  Physically and psychologically we will create better communities.

By participating in our local green endeavors we are reducing  the impact of wasting our natural resources.  And this is a cultural turning point.

To listen to the “Creativity and Sustainability” presentation visit the link on the right hand column under Blogroll, Marika’s Website and visit the podcast page.  The podcast may take a few moments to load.


Eden Hill Communities Visits Marika

Eden Hill Communities of New Braunfels, TX came by to see Marika’s Gallery and Studio.  A good time was had by one and all as the saying goes.  The stay was fun, lively and informative.  There were a lot of questions and a wonderful exchange of ideas.  The Eden Hill plans to visit Marika’s art at the Guadalupe Regional Medical Center and to visit the gallery again!

Seguin Artist Selected for Prestigious Texas Tour

Seguin Daily News

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The art pieces, as well as the skills and talents used in creating these fine wood sculptures, will soon be available to all Texans. Artist Marika Bordes, of Seguin, has been selected to participate in the prestigious 2010-2011 Texas Touring Roster of the Texas Commission on the Arts. Bordes is one of only a handful of Texas artists who have been selected for the opportunity.

By Cindy Aguirre-Herrera

(Seguin) — Local Sculptor Marika Bordes is taking her art on the road. Bordes, a member of the Seguin Oakwood Art League and the Texas Society of Sculptors ,has been selected by the Texas Commission on the Arts to participate in its 2010-2011 Texas Touring Roster. Bordes is one of only 124 individuals and companies to receive the grant award.

By being chosen for the touring roster, the wood carving sculptor will receive the opportunity to offer presentations, demonstrations and workshops to adults and youth. Through these presentations, Bordes says she hopes to inspire people to appreciate the importance of art.

“It’s a great honor, although we applied for it, but after that when I knew about the process (and of ) getting in, I feel very blessed and honored to be with such a group of people. I do think by going all over to show people what we can do with wood, I will pass on the legacy that I received from my people to other people that will continue it,” said Bordes.

The state of Texas designed the Touring Arts Program to ensure that all Texans have the ability to enjoy performances and presentations in their own communities by what they call ‘outstanding Texas-based artists’.

“Artists on the Texas Touring Roster travel to communities across the state and perform in a variety of venues,” said Gary Gibbs, TCA executive director. “In addition to performances, they may also conduct workshops, master classes, residences, lecture-demonstrations or arts education components as a way to engage community residents. We are proud to offer the citizens of Texas access to such high-quality artistic talent.”

Gaye McElwain, director marketing and communications for the Texas Commission on the Arts, says Seguin should be proud of Bordes’ accomplishments thus far. She says selection for the touring list is limited to the elite and most creative artists and performance companies around.

“It is prestigious in the sense that those artists are going to be looked at by Texas presenters state wide to be brought into their communities to do workshops and exhibitions and performances — things of that type. So we at the Commission on the Arts want to make sure that the list that we are providing are all the highest quality, people who are good not only in terms of artistic product but that are also going to be a good addition to their community in terms of the way they can communicate about their artwork maybe do some educational outreach — things of that type,” said McElwain.

The Texas Commission on the Arts does not provide funds to artists in the Texas Touring Roster. Instead, TCA provides grants to arts presenters, schools, libraries, theatres and other non profits throughout Texas to help with the cost of bringing in companies and artists from the roster.

Bordes says what is particularly exciting for her is the opportunity to spread the word about Seguin as an arts destination.

“Here in Seguin we have so many talents and I’m experiencing it everyday. Actually, I have nine students, and we are going to have that exhibition in October. You are all going to see

how it is. The variety of talents and thought and creativity — I think we need people to know who we are in Seguin, and I don’t mean that I’m the best ambassador for it, but I will do my best to let people know who we are in Seguin and what we can do,” said Bordes.

Artists on this year’s Texas Touring Roster range from individual performing and visual artist to large performing arts companies.

Artistic disciplines include music, visual art, dance, theatre, storytelling, literary art and folk art.

Texas Lutheran University Spanish Class Visits the Studio

Recently, an upper level Spanish class visited Marika’s studio and gallery as part of their class activities.  Some excerpts from the students:

From Samantha-

My favorite piece that she talked about was the Carousel of a Woman’s Life.  At first glance i had no idea the depth and creativity of this piece of artwork, but then as she started to explain it you began to see numerous different women figures in the one piece of wood.  Marika made me feel the passion she has for her work simply by describing it.


My favorite piece was The Beggar because the sculpture really captured the posture of the beggar.  The piece was very emotional.  I thought the way the artist was able to sculpt the wood to look like cloth blowing in the wind was really incredible.


I was really inspired by Marika.  …,but she made me realize that it is important to love what you do and to take a deeper look at things, rather than what is just on the surface.  The way she spoke about her piece “The Beggar” was amazing.  I hope that I will be as passionate about my work as she is.

Presentation to the Seguin Retired Teachers Association

“Art from the Heart”

Ladies and Gentlemen,
My fellow artists, Good morning

My “Art from the Heart” is: a tribute to:
Two Countries
Two Teachers
One Legacy

Many months ago, / Billie Fai Ball presented to me the fertile concept of: / “Art from the Heart”. / You placed me gently / at the entrance of a long tunnel / with only a glimmer of light at the far end. / Walking with careful steps toward that enlightenment, / I understand the “sine qua non” of my sculpting. / The journey takes me from seeing my art / as a form of universal celebration / to something more profound. / My sculpture is the fruition of my parents, / not birth parents, but art parents. / Thank you for putting me on this path, Billie Fai / and my gratitude goes / to the Retired Teachers Association for inviting me. /

This is Black History Month / and the history of Black Americans / is the merging of two civilizations: / European and African. / The America of today / is the result of the nobility of these two continents, / the complexity of their cultures, / and the originality of their values. / And so it is / in my life as an artist./ For you see, my one art parent descends from Europe / and the other Africa. /

At a young age, I left Haiti / to enter a boarding school in Quebec, Canada. /This is where I met Sister Claire de Jesus./ In my middle years, I met Francois Sanon in Haiti./ These outstanding teachers, / made an impact on my life.

My art mother Sister Claire is a nun / of a French religious order./ My art father Francois Sanon / is an internationally renowned sculptor / from Jeremie, Haiti.

Sister Claire, / a genuinely sweet person, / taught me music, voice and piano for 9 years./ Later,/ Sanon passed on to me from earlier generations of Haitian sculptors / the baton of sculpting. / One was academic and structured; / the other followed a freestyle approach. / Both, however, / were methodical and demanding teachers. / They anchored in me / discipline, / hard work /and excellence.

Art mother / offered me the sacredness she found in life and liturgy; / one was the link to the other. / For her, / everything under the sun is sacred. / She looks at life and liturgy as twin sisters / and that dualism / is the complement that balances the cosmos.

Sanon released my creativity / and like a dove it took flight. / Breaking the shackles of the eyes’ reality, / the flight of the dove / went from the mundane to the spiritual plane. / Here is found the voice of the wood. / It teaches what I do not know. / Between us / a dialog grows to a crescendo / as the beauty of the wood transforms into a work of art. /

Through this cultural confluence of North America and the Caribbean, / I found true bearing. / The influence of these two teachers / guided me to my spiritual path / through art. / As an artist and a pilgrim of this earth, / but not of this world,/ they helped me encapsulate the essence of beauty./

Carving takes me to another world,/ a world not seen, /and a world of fantasy. / This world inspires me to celebrate something higher than my physical self. / Through carving, / I am the writer, / the actor, / and the musician./ My performance uses the precision of chisels, / the movement of my body, / and the music of the wood. / Out of these languages / emerges a story for all to know. / The story / is the very sacredness / of our physical and spiritual life. / It is also only a guide / and a moment in life’s journey. / The journey is a puzzle/ and our stories guide us / in understanding the journey.

As I stand before you today, / I want to share a dream. / Yes, I have a dream. / I dream of a better world to live in / and that is when / each and everyone recognizes the artist in themselves. / We are all artists, / with stories to tell, / creations to inspire,/ passion to unleash / and, this is a true blessing.

Finally, / allow me to make a wish:
· May our discipline, / knowledge and love/ make our dreams come true / for a better world to live in.

Ladies and Gentlemen / it was a pleasure talking to you / and now, I welcome your questions.

A Tribute to Two Countries, Two Teachers, One Legacy

A Tribute to Two Countries, Two Teachers, One Legacy

Presentation at Texas Lutheran University

Please click on photo for an enlargement.

Many of the photos are the courtesy of Bil Sullivan: http://www.bilsullivanphotography.com/

Inspiration, Celebration and Passion …
Welcome to my world

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for being here. It is a real pleasure to share with you the fruit of my work and, I am deeply grateful to TLU for inviting me. A special thank you / goes to T. Paul Hernandez, Landa King, and the art students / who helped graciously in setting up the exhibition.

Once upon a time,
When I was 14 years old,
I read a book, and
Something extraordinary happened to me.
From that day,
It changed my way of seeing things,
It changed my life,
It gave me a vision.
A few sentences from
The Little Prince of: Antoine de St-Exupéry
Stayed with me to this day.
Thus it says:

“It is only with the heart
That one can see rightly;
What is essential
Is invisible for the eye”.

The sculptures you see before you hide a deep story of inspiration. In the mid 1990’s, I met a master carver who inspired me when he said: “Madam you can carve”. I was shocked and I was skeptical. One day, I went back to him with a set of tools and said: here I am; you said you would teach me isn’t it so? … Yes he did. For months, he stood by my side, passing on to me/ from earlier generations of Haitian sculptors the art of sculpting wood together with his love for this profession.

It’s been twelve years, since carving took me along as a disciple. Twelve years of discipline and labor. As a result, my sculptures are a reflection of my evolution through time and vision. They portray the sanctity of daily living which is a mix of happiness, / sensuality, / anger, and majesty.

When I am asked: How do I carve?
I say:
· I carve with my heart and my soul.
· I carve by instinct

Why do I carve?
· Because I want to share my dreams with others;
· But above all, because there is sacredness in what I do/ and I want to leave my sculptures as a legacy to celebrate life’s nobility.

For all these years, carving has become my true passion. Along the path I do encounter risks, frustration, and discouragement. Sculpting consumes my energies. At the same time it propels me forward. From the rising of the sun/ until the rising of the moon, mallet and chisel ring out against the intrinsic beauty of the wood and my inner spirit soars to new heights.

This partnership heals my mind and my spirit. / Whether mythology or religious beliefs have influenced me in the process,/ my sculptures portray / the inspiration for the unusual and the unexpected./ These poets/ take us to a world/ where mythology and reality / merge into a joyful dance;/ where ancient gods / provide succor and sustenance./

One tends to think that the sculptures speak for me. / No, they do not. / They speak their own language. / They speak to you. / You hear them. / You hear them in your own way. You travel with them / far into your imagination. / With an inner strength, / they go beyond / the boundaries we erect for ourselves. / Arm-in-arm you go with them to a deeper place. / Their poetry touches you; / and in some way, / you and the artist enter the domain of inspiration and together celebrate the eternal passion of creativity.

The fox was right in telling the Little Prince:
“What is essential
Is invisible for the eye”.

Ladies and Gentlemen it was a pleasure talking to you and now, I welcome your questions.