The 2014 Arts Enrichment Award

The Seguin Commission on the Arts

2014 Arts Enrichment Award

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Steve Tschoepe Announcing the Award Winner

Steve Tschoepe Announcing the Award Winner

Barbara Weyland Cheering

The Seguin Commission on the Arts honored Marika with the  2014 Arts Enrichment Award for her unwavering support and promotion of the arts.  Mayor Don Keil made the announcement at the Texas Theater as part of the ArtsFest event, Pachanga del Arte, the annual fundraiser for the arts in Seguin.

She was awarded a special certificate and an enthusiastic round of applause.

In announcing the award, Mayor Keil noted that since Marika and her husband Dennis Martin chose to settle

Seguin Mayor Don Keil

Seguin Mayor Don Keil

in Seguin she has been at the forefront of public art in Seguin. She has spoken about the arts to local groups, exhibited her art work in shows throughout the community, contributed two commissioned sculptures to enhance the public art at Guadalupe Regional Medical Center, and was a key participant in the first ArtsFest, working with children and adults to create a public art piece for Seguin.

She has taught wood carving classes, helping others discover their artistic talents and was a driving force behind the creation of the Seguin Commission on the Arts as well as the creation of the Bird Sculptures in Walnut Springs Park, raising funds, working with other artists, and creating sculptures that celebrate Seguin’s status as a bird sanctuary.

IMG_6501Her accomplishments are many and include raising over $10,000 in funds through art for disaster relief in Haiti, being featured in numerous publications and on Texas Country Reporter, and being showcased in a National Endowment for the Arts-funded Folklife project through the Institute of Texan Cultures.

Through the years and in spite of challenges, Marika has held on to her vision for Seguin to become known for the arts.  He closed saying she is very deserving of being recognized as the Outstanding Contributor to the Arts for 2014.

Past recipients of the recognition include the Texas Theatre and Teatro de Artes de Juan Seguin.

 

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Helen Stein, A Founding Member of the Seguin Art League

Helen Stein, A Founding Member of the Seguin Art League

The Arts And Community: The Bird Sculpture Sanctuary of the Seguin Walnut Springs Park

This article by Marika appears in The Third Dimension: Newsletter for the Texas Society of Sculptors 1st Quarter Issue of 2013

Seguin: A Bird Sanctuary City

Seguin: A Bird Sanctuary City

The Arts and Community: The Bird Sculpture Sanctuary of the Seguin Walnut Springs Park

The seeds for The Bird Sculpture Sanctuary of Walnut Springs Park were  sown  years ago.  In the1920s, Robert Hugman, who would design the San Antonio River Walk, approached the city with plans for the park and it was completed in1941.  Then the park fell into disrepair.  In 2006, the citizens approved a bond issue and the park was officially reopened in 2011.   The recently rejuvenated park in the heart of the city won two prestigious awards: The Texas Recreation and Parks Society Lone Star Legacy Park designation and the Texas Downtown Association President’s Award for Best Public Improvement.

View of Park

View of Park

The other part of the story begins in the not so distant past with a Seguin Garden Club project tasked with making Seguin a bird sanctuary city.  Although, the city received the designation, little was done with the idea.  There are two signs announcing the bird sanctuary city as you enter the city from the east.  One is on US Highway 90 and the other on US Highway Alternate 90.  After moving to Seguin in 2005 and seeing these signs, sculptor Marika Bordes kept this knowledge in the back of her mind.

When Marika and a fellow member of the Seguin Oakwood Art League (SOAL)  discussed the need of more visibility for SOAL they realized an excellent way was to enter the annual Holiday Stroll Parade.  The concept of a bird sanctuary city gave flight to her imagination and she suggested creating bird costumes.  SOAL went on to win awards in this and other parades using the “birds” concept.  The birds stayed with Marika.  After many walks through Walnut Springs Park, a bird sculpture sanctuary took form.  Conferring with her students, volunteers and community members, the decision was made to approach the city.

Preparing for the First SOAL Parade: Grackle and Owl

Preparing for the First SOAL Parade: Grackle and Owl

The team soon realized that besides creating sculptures and receiving approvals,  the project would require raising funds.  By the time, Marika and her team presented the project to the city council, the Department of Parks and Recreation recommended approval of the project and the Seguin Chamber of Commerce awarded a Help Seguin Shine grant.  The City Council, not only unanimously approved the project but to the surprise of some, provided funding.  The work began to sculpt eight  birds and raise the additional funds.

Marika and three students, Barry Duncan, Howard Crunk, and Jimmy Schmidt, set out to design and make the sculptures in wood, metal or a combination of the two materials.  They selected birds native to the area: the  hawk, roadrunner, heron, owl, and scissor-tailed flycatcher.  This was a team effort and was most especially seen in the making of the primary sculpture for the park, the hawk.  The body of the hawk is made of bois d’arc* and the wings of metal.  The team had to develop an internal mechanism to prevent the movement of the wings from damaging the wood during high winds and to secure it to the entrance column to the park so that literally, it would not fly away in a storm.  Many hours were spent just in the designing and engineering of this sculpture.

Measuring the Hawk

Measuring the Hawk

Fundraising events and in-kind contributions were key.  Volunteers came to the rescue to raise additional funds during a key fundraiser, “Art for the Park” held during Seguin’s annual ArtsFest.  The fundraiser offered donation levels, such as, a poster signed by the sculptors, placement on the donor plaque, and “adoption” of a bird or a family of birds.  Most of the food, beverages, and entertainment were donated.  There were also proceeds from the silent and live auctions of art.  A local steel fabricator donated materials and technical knowledge and the city installed the sculptures.

Installation of the Hawk

Installation of the Hawk

The artists and associates set out on a mission to create a masterpiece for a public space in Seguin.  Their vision was a cultural landmark and an economic engine for the city, businesses, and the community.  They wanted to give the community the first major work of public art done by local artists.  They envisioned a bird sculpture sanctuary that would enhance visitor appreciation of the park and its flora and fauna.  Their art would add a dimension of beauty that would be another incentive for people to visit and enjoy Walnut Springs Park and Seguin.  They also saw that by  strengthening Seguin as a bird sanctuary city, those interested in birds and public art more people would visit the the park.  Also, the birds would be an attraction for children and add to their education and appreciation for wildlife.

Community Support

Community Support

The sculpture sanctuary came into being because of the vision people had for the city nearly a century ago, the dedication and support of a community, and the tenacity and dreams of the artists.  As marika said “We had to believe in the results.  Faith is to believe in what one does not see.  Yet the artist sees what she believes is there.  The dedication of the Seguin Walnut Springs Park Bird Sculpture Sanctuary was on September 18, 2012.

  • Other names for bois d’arc include osage orange and horse apple.
The Hawk

The HawkThe Arts and Comm

The Owl

The Owl

Seguin Walnut Springs Bird Sculpture Sanctuary Unveling

Marika and her team of sculptors are pleased to let you know that the City of Seguin has announced the unveiling of the Seguin Walnut Springs Park Bird Sculpture Sanctuary.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 4:30pm

Walnut Springs Park

317 West Court Street

Seguin, TX 78155

Please join us at this City of Seguin event and meet the eight bird sculptures.

The Sculptors: Marika Bordes, Barry Duncan, jimmy Schmidt, Howard Crunk

The Hawk

The Owl

The Three Herons

The Roadrunner II

Seguin ArtsFest- Crowds turn out

Crowds turn out for ArtsFest activities

Felicia Frazar | Posted: Monday, April 2, 2012 9:09 pm

SEGUIN — The weekend that was dedicated to the arts in Seguin was a success.

Marvel Maddox, ArtsFest co-chair and Seguin Commission on the Arts member, said different area events drew in a number of participants.

“I was pleased with the outcome,” he said.

The weekend featured a variety of artists from sculptors, painters, photographers, musicians, dancers, poets, writers and more, Maddox said.

During the day on Saturday, Central Park was filled with people learning more about local artists while Trade Days was going on.

“Everything at the bandstand went well and attracted some crowds,” he said.

Central Park wasn’t the only place drawing attention.

“At the Texas Theater we had Seguin Has Talent which was tremendous,” he said. “There were 16 performances and we had a packed house.”

The night before, at Austin Street Live, the Harleys held a benefit concert for the Seguin Commission on the Arts, raising more than $500, Maddox said.

Saturday night, the Texas Theater was the stage for Arts in the Park.

The event was a fundraiser for the Bird Sculpture Sanctuary that will be going into Walnut Springs Park.

Dennis Martin said the event was well attended.

“There was a nice crowd and it was lively,” he said. “We had a good turnout from different members of the community, as well as great volunteers who helped out.”

There were a number of opportunities for guests to donate to the project including a live and silent auction, Martin said.

“We had some people sign up for the donor wall,” he said. “People who donated $250 or more get their name on a plaque and it is added to the wall.”

The highlight of the evening was the unveiling of the sculptures that will be displayed in the park, Martin said.

“When the curtain opened you heard ‘wow’ coming from the audience,” he said. “While we still have some work to do, we wanted people to get a preview and to see what kind of work is going into these sculptures.”

Planning the three-day event took a lot of time and volunteers, Maddox said.

“We had 20 people on the Commission For the Arts board who helped organize” he said. “We also had about 10 liaisons — from the school, Teatro and other organizations — that helped to organize the other activities. It took about 30 people total to plan out the event and we couldn’t have done it without any of them.”

Marika Bordes and Team discuss Walnut Springs Park Bird Sculpture Sanctuary Project & Fundraiser

Meet the Sculptors and See the Bird Sculptures

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Central Park, Seguin , TX from 9:00 am until noon

The Texas Theater, 425 North Austin Street, Seguin, TX from 7:00 – 10:00pm

KWED Radio broadcast:

Please click here: KWED Broadcast_ Project to Fly during ArtsFest Fundraiser

Seguin Daily News article:

Art for the Park: Public Service Announcement

Click here to hear the public service announcement: PSA Dennis

Art for the Park

Public Service Announcement

For an evening of art, live music, and refreshments, attend “Art for the Park” an ArtsFest 2012 event supporting the Walnut Springs Park Bird Sculpture Project.  There are silent & live auctions of exceptional art and the unveiling of the bird sculptures.   This is Dennis Martin an event volunteer. Join us at the Texas Theater on Saturday, March 31 from 7 to 10 pm.  Tickets are $25 now and $30 at the door.  Buy your tickets at Gift & Gourmet, Keepers, and Karen McMillan Realtors.

ArtsFest event will kick off in Seguin on Friday

Felicia Frazar | Posted: Saturday, March 24, 2012 1:54 pm

SEGUIN — Concerts, plays, sculptures and paintings — just a few of the things that can be found at the second ArtsFest.

Starting Friday and continuing through Sunday there will be an assortment of activities highlighting the area’s talent.

Whether it is visual arts or performing arts, exhibitions or demonstrations, there will be something for everyone, said event co-chair and Seguin Commission on the Arts member Marvel Maddox.

“We will be running a full gamut of art,” he said. “There will be poetry, paw prints for puppies, plays, bands, choirs, all kinds of visual arts and opportunities to interact with all of the artists.”

There are even events for children to get a hands-on experience at different art mediums, Maddox said.

“We are hosting a children’s digital photography workshop/contest from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday in Central Park,” he said.

“There will be cameras for the kids to use who may not have brought one or doesn’t have one.”

Saturday starting at 7 p.m. will be the Art for the Park event at the Texas Theater.

The event is a fundraiser to support the Walnut Springs Bird Sculpture Sanctuary, Maddox said.

“This one event has four components — a live and silent art auction with pieces from local artists, a view of art from some of our local artist, and a jazz combo,” he said.

Tickets for the event are $25 in advance and available at Gift and Gourmet or $30 at the door. On Friday, the Harley’s are hosting Rock for the Arts Benefit at Austin Street Live from 7:30-11:30 p.m. The event will be smoke free with no cover charge, but donations for the Commission on the Arts are welcome, Maddox said.

With the inaugural year being a huge success, the planning committee knew they had their work cutout for them getting the 2012 ArtsFest going, Maddox said.

“I thought last year was pretty great,” he said. “So, it was a big challenge to take it to a different level for this year.”

Maddox said the committee added more activities to the line up, giving visitors more options to participate.

“I would say we have made it about 20 percent larger than last year’s,” he said.

Creating an event that puts all of Seguin’s talents on display is one of the goals of the Commission on the Arts, Maddox said.

“The general appeal of ArtsFest is to show that the Seguin community has a dynamic array of arts and this is an opportunity to support the local arts and artist and to show that the arts are an important dynamic to the fabric of the Seguin Community,” he said.

(END of ARTICLE)

For more ArtsFest information and details please click on “Seguin Commission on the Arts” in the column to your right under the heading “Blogroll”.

See you there.