The Ascetic- Pecan Wood Sculpture

On July 13, Marika completed The Ascetic her newest sculpture.  The markings on the face of the monk are natural.  At times you follow the will of the wood and allow it to tell the story.  The sculpture is pecan wood.   With the base, the dimensions are H 27″ W 8″ D 8″.   

Ascetic 1

Ascetic 1

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The Ascetic 4 The Ascetic 5 The Ascetic 6 The Ascetic 7

   

Marika’s Newest Sculptures

From Dream to Fairytale

From Dream to Fairytale

From Dream to Fairytale

From Dream to Fairytale (detail)

From Dream to Fairytale (detail)

“From Dream to Fairytale” is made from wood and tells the story of the birth of an angel.  The metal base is in the form of an octopus.  The overall dimensions are H56″ W25″ D20″.  Currently, the sculpture is on view at Marika’s gallery until early July.  

The Storm

The Storm

The Storm

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The Storm (detail)

Marika sculpted the aromatic sandalwood to create “The Storm.”  The base is metal in the form  of a tornado.  Sculpture and base are H50″ W12″ D32″.  Currently, the sculpture is on view at Marika’s gallery until early July.

Off the Beaten Path

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority of Texas 2011 Annual Report presents profiles of eight individuals in its ten-county district.  Barbara Elmore wrote about Marika who represents Guadalupe County.  Connie Rothe designed the annual report.

Texas Lutheran University Journalism Students

Recently, Texas Lutheran University journalism students and Associate Professor Robin Bisha visited Marka’s studio.  The class was on a mission to interview and write an article about Marika and her art.  Thank you for the five beautiful and well-written articles.  Please enjoy the photographs of the visit and the writings of Sunny Valencia, Laura Torres, Samantha Kuykendall, Amber Gold, and Joy Fennigkoh.

Sunny Valencia

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

SEGUIN – Oct. 19, Marika Bordes, noted sculptor, shared her creative proficiency with TLU students to experience her art from within the creative walls of her studio and encouraged them with her words of wisdom and passion towards her craft.

“Life gives a lot of lessons; these are the stories I’m here to tell. I tell them without words. I tell them in a language that is universal,” she said in her Seguin home studio. “Mallet and chisel, they talk for me. I tell my story.”

This humble artist, a Haiti native, was a late bloomer when it came to sculpture but is now continuing to draw attention for her smooth and elegant pieces of art that range in woods, colors, and sizes. She mostly creates art in female figures that correspond and inspire the essence of their power, beauty, and charm.

The TLU students who had the privilege to enter place of work, look around, take in her efforts, and have “hands on” experience gained an understanding deeper than those guests that go to the exhibits where her pieces are showcased.

“To touch them, feel them,” Bordes said. “Ask any question, a unique experience to come to an artist studio, not a museum, not the same contact.”

Instead of possibly picking her favorite work, she responded with having respect for two pieces, “Head of a Woman” and “Carousel of Women’s life.”  Her pieces are her way of expressing poetry. The latter piece is her “truth” of the female life, from childhood, to teenager, to motherhood, to the end of their time. It is how women have struggled to survive and motivate humanity.

Bordes shared her emotional story of her country and its effects on her craftsmanship.

“Haiti is a great source of information, great source of inspiration. If you can’t get inspired in Haiti, something is wrong with you,” she said as she made the students laugh. “I am proud to come from that country although it is the poorest country in the hemisphere. It is such a rich country.”  Her expression and intensity when she spoke let it be known that she was sincere with every word.

Wood called to her, she didn’t go to find it. Even at the age of 49, she gained her inspiration to become an artist. Now, 15 years later, she continues. “As long as I can do it, I will,” she said.

Bordes has a God given talent to create poetry and express multiple feelings from blocks and branches of wood. Her pieces tell the story she feels, but do not restrict the observer to that idea.

“It no longer belongs to me, it belongs to you,” Bordes said. “Make your own journey. They’re a gift, and you react the way you want to.”

By Laura Torres

There is a secret hidden along an herb garden in a quiet nook on Erkel Street. A shaky path of cement blocks line the way to a center-stage show staring passionate figures spawned from wood and inspired by stories.

Above an entrance reads a sign that reads, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” This sign christens the site of where the artist Marika Bordes creates poetry with her mallet and chisel.

Bordes moved to Seguin in 2005 but has been sculpting since 1996. A native of Haiti, she is recognized throughout the art community for her style of elongated lines within her sculptures that represent female strength and tenderness.

Numerous awards dot her resume including fourth place in 2002 and 2003 at the artist exhibition, Rencontre des Arts, held near Montreal, Canada. She won first in 2003 from The Pen and Brush, an organization founded 110 years ago for female artists. This yearly sculpture contest exhibits 750 sculptures created by numerous professionals. In 2008, her sculpture “Nesting” won second prize at The Hill Country Arts Foundation 2008 National Juried Exhibition in Ingram.

While her studio is small it is also packed with passion. The studio is aglow with the tanned reflection of the wood sculptures that literally reach out to those who pass by. A dry smell of grated wood hangs in the air as the stories behind the sculpture come to light. A mother holds her daughter who, Bordes said, is like her but also is not. Her hair is unlike hers despite them both being of the same branch symbolizing how one cannot give what they have not received.

Another work is of Mary with her mother telling her that she is pregnant with the messiah. At the time being with a child out of wedlock was a social wrong. As Mary cradles her son inside her she is held by a mother who raises one hand in anguish but rests the other on her daughter in acceptance.

“Cry of Liberty” is Bordes’s newest sculpture and is of a woman whose face is in a screaming rage. Her hair seems to be pulled back by a fierce wind and at the tips unites to form a drum. Within the hair, a girl emerges from the strands. This piece is symbolic of women lifting the holds that bind so that their future daughters can be free. Each voice is like a beat on the drum within the hearts of women that becomes part of the song for freedom.

Some inspiration for Bordes’s carvings is drawn from the generosity, strength and elegance she has seen in her home of Haiti and in America. She credits her skills to her teacher and to the people of her country, who taught her simplicity.

“In Haiti it is poor but also so rich,” Bordes said. “I learned poetry through the people who do not know how to write or read.”

Haiti was where Bordes met master in find wood sculpting Francois Sanon. She had commissioned him to sculpt a piece for her that she routinely checked in on to monitor his work. The comments Bordes would give to Sanon about the piece made him feel that she was one who had the skill to carve. She dismissed his persistence since she shaid she couldn’t even sketch a line on a piece of paper, let alone carve. Eventually she was drawn to the craft.

“Life gives a lot of lessons that I tell without words in a unusual language of mallet and chisel,” Bordes said. “I put more than just a story. I put myself.”

To prepare she bought her own tools and proceeded to his study ready to sculpt. Sanon then asked her if she had $50 to which she gave him. A few days later he returned and gave her a chisel, larger than her own hands, made from the metal of an old car. Her wood was to be her mallet. He then told her it was all about her own style despite the many sculptors within the field. Bordes was on her way to an epiphany.

“He opened my eyes,” Bordes said. “Everything I could see, I could do it.”

Since then Bordes has created numerous pieces exhibiting a nurturing spirit. On Nov. 11, Bordes will display “Cry of Liberty” at An Auspicious Date at Gallery Nord in San Antonio. It has been coined by the galley as an international show since it features the work of 16 female artists from throughout the globe.

There is no time frame for when Bordes completes her sculptures since she may begin one, leave it to work on another sculpture, and return months or years later to complete it. Her current piece she is working on is that of an owl that will be placed in one of Seguin’s local parks.

Bordes’s studio is surrounded with the metamorphosis of her works. Across from the backyard where the wood in which her work is drawn from, rests the workshop where her tools wait. After a finishing simmer of polish is added, the pieces are taken steps away to rest in the gallery to call to a new home.

Her work builds on the thoughts of the viewer and is designed to rouse the minds of their owners who hear a call to them from the wood.

“I can inspire and give my own inspirations,” Bordes said. “When a sculpture is out of my hands it belongs to you. You bring or leave your story but I offer it.”

By Samantha Kuykendall

Many people believe once you are a certain age you are unable to learn new things or try things you had never tried before. Marika Bordes and her remarkable story help show people everywhere that anything is possible.

Bordes, 64, is originally from Haiti, and at the age of 49 she became a sculptor. She uses wood for all of her pieces. “I didn’t choose wood, wood chose me,” she said. She chose to sculpt with wood instead of any other material.

All of her pieces teach a lesson, she said, “Life is a lot of lessons and those are the stories I’m here to tell.” As many artist tend to say, “My mallet and chisel talk for me,” and “In a piece I put more than a story, I put myself,” said Bordes.

She creates most of her pieces from large pieces of wood that fall from trees. “I have never seen an ugly wood,” she said.

The size of the sculpture and the kind of wood are big factors in how long the piece will take to complete. Smaller ones can take as little as a week, while larger sculptures or harder wood can take up to a couple of months.

When she first started getting into sculpting her teacher told her, “Everything you can see you can do.” And most importantly, “You’re going to do you’re own and that’s what’s important.”

Bordes states that sculpting is her way of “letting others see through the same glasses she sees through.”

“I would like to quilt and do so many other things,” but while I am still strong enough, I will continue to sculpt, said Bordes.

Bordes has an exibit coming up Nov. 11 in San Antonio. For more information you can check her blog.  Bordes said, “I’m looking forward to what they say, and what they say I should do better.”

By Amber Gold

Oct. 19 (Seguin) – Have you ever wondered what goes through an artist’s mind when they create a piece of artwork?

Marika Bordes, a native from Haiti, presented several journalism students with the opportunity to visit her studio to experience the essence of her sculptures.

Ironically, Bordes was first introduced into sculpting after an encounter she had with a sculptor from her country by the name of Sanon. She initially commissioned him to create a piece of work for her and began to give him feedback throughout the process. Sanon recognized the potential that Marika possessed and he told her that she could carve and he would teach her.

Initially a little uncertain, Bordes took up sculpting a couple years later and said she “learned it and loved it.” She recalls her master telling her, “You won’t do it like other artists, but you’ll do your own.” With this newfound sense of self and six tools she had acquired from Montreal, Bordes began to create her first wood masterpiece that depicted a woman from her native country.

Many of her art pieces such as the “Cry of Liberty,” “Seas of Uncertainty,” and “Carousel of Women’s Lives” reflect the struggles and encounters that the people of Haiti face today. These obstacles serve as a source of inspiration for Bordes as she reflects on her culture. “Through Haiti, I have learned the simplicity of life,” states Bordes. This reflection on her culture enables her to share the journey of life through conflict, pain, and triumph with her public audience.

Bordes signifies her purpose as an artist as she states “Life gives lots of lessons and those are the stories I’m here to tell, I tell them without words in a language that is universal.”

From her sculptures, Bordes hopes that people will one day see their own personal stories and experiences. The inspiration expressed through the artwork is something that she hopes will manifest in the lives of future generations as they triumph over life’s battles.

Poetry through a Mallet and Chisel

By Joy Fennigkoh

October 19, 2011—Marika Bordes, master wood sculptor, allowed the Texas Lutheran University (TLU) journalism students to visit her home studio and hear her and her sculptures that she describes as, “poetry.”

When walking into Bordes’s studio the beautiful wood sculptures shine with unique character and design. Each finished sculpture is carved with detail and noticeable care and each tell a different story of their own to those who view them.

“I haven’t met an ugly wood—it’s all in their grain, beauty and character,” Bordes said.

Bordes mostly works with hard woods because of the beautiful results that she gets after carving it regardless of the challenge it poses. As a result of her hard work, her finished sculptures stand strong and beautiful telling their unique stories.

One piece that Bordes has recently completed is called the “Cry of Liberty.” This piece is a sculpture of a woman’s head whose face is shouting while her daughter is calm coming from her hair beside her. In the back of the sculpture is a little drum.

“The woman is tracing the path for the future (the daughter)—The drum is the call deep inside.” Bordes said. “It is what is not right, calling for action,” Bordes said while tapping on the drum.

The “Cry of Liberty” was first representing speaking out about slavery, but is a timeless piece that changes meaning with the world around it and also with those who view it.

Bordes wants those who see her work to reflect on what they know and to see the sculptures. She also wants her audience to understand that it is never too late to do something new or pursue something you love.

“We are called humanity, and humanity is beautiful—life is nothing but a gift,” Bordes says.

The Cry of Liberty

The Cry of Liberty is Marika’s newest sculpture.  She began the sandalwood sculpture in Haiti many years ago and worked on it from time-to-time in a deliberate manner.  The cry is against the slaveries that we and others impose on us.  Bob Phillips and Texas Country Reporter featured the sculpture in the segment Marika Bordes: The Carousel of Life.  The sculpture did take the trip to the 16th Annual Texas Country Reporter Festival in Waxahachie, TX.  The sculpture is currently on exhibit at Gallery Nord until January 12, 2012.

The Gallery Nord 

11.11.11 Exhibit: An Auspicious Date

Gallery Hours Wednesday – Saturday

Noon to 5:00

2009 NW Military Hwy., San Antonio, TX

210.348.0088

Gallery Nord Website: http://www.gallerynord.com

New Sculptures and Work-in-Progress

This summer Marika completed two sculptures.  The first sculpture displayed is Envolee (Flying) and the second is Irene.  Envolee is made from black walnut and is now in a private collection in Montreal.  Irene is made from cypress knee and was on exhibit at Gallery Nord in San Antonio and is currently displayed at the Hair Haus in Seguin.

Marika is currently working on Liberty.  This piece will be on display at Gallery Nord from November 11 until january 12.  Photos coming soon.

Envolee:

Irene:

Visions in Wood: Marika and Her Students Sculpture Exhibition

 

Art in Seguin...Seeing Is Believing

 

Heritage Museum is Venue for Special Evening of Art, Oct. 16

Volunteers working on the Seeing is Believing: Visions in Wood sculpture exhibit gathered at a recent planning meeting. The event is being held on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 6-8 p.m. Those with tickets to the Child Advocacy Center Fundraiser are invited to a sneak preview of the event from 5-6 p.m. that evening. There is no charge for the event, with donations supporting the Heritage Museum which is hosting the exhibit through Jan. 5.

By Mary Jo Filip, Main Street Program Director

(Seguin) — When Marika Bordes puts her mind to something, everyone should get in line and help her on her way. A while ago, John Gesick with the Heritage Museum suggested she might consider holding a show of her sculptures there. Taking his suggestion to heart, she envisioned a dramatic art event that would make the people of Seguin, and visitors, stand a little taller and think a little grander about the art we have here, the artists who create it, and the importance art has for our community. She didn’t want just a typical event. She wanted it to be special, so those who attended would leave excited, spread the word, and tell their friends they must go to the Heritage Museum to see this exhibit.

To help her meet her goal she assembled a committee of 11 people, each of whom was tasked with assisting in setting the stage for the event which will be held Saturday, Oct. 16 from 6-8 p.m. * Exhibit committee members were tasked with organizing publicity, the reception, staging for the exhibits, and organization. The committee includes Hil Starcke, Patt Linden, Barry Duncan, Dennis Martin, Roger Betschler, Lynn Pfullmann, Donna Dodgen,

Audra Schulz, Bob Gardner and myself. John Gesick works with the committee to ensure smooth interaction with the Heritage Museum.

The evening is called “Art in Seguin…Seeing is Believing”, with the title of the exhibit: Visions in Wood: Marika and Her Students. Over thirty sculptures by Marika and ten of her students will be on display. The crowning event of the evening will be the unveiling of a 14-foot tall breath-taking wood sculpture of “Gwaihir” that Bordes created and brought to life with assistance of her students and friends. The inspiration for the sculpture comes from Gwaihir, an immense eagle from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth who helped Gandalf escape and snatches Frodo and Sam from certain doom in the Lord of the Rings.

Adding another artistic element to the evening, Bordes asked people from the local community to write poems or impressions of the sculptures. These pieces, written by Mayor Betty Ann Matthies, Darren Dunn, Whitney Bischoff, Evelyn Streng, Patt Linden,Jean-Marie Ngendahayo, Michelle Rumbaut, Nancy Masterson, Jack Linden, Marie Jo Billnitzer, Beth Raetzsch, Michael Saenz, John Upper, Barbra Upper, Janice Turk, Cindy Aguirre, Ana Maria Gonzalez, and yours truly, will be displayed along with each of the statues.

Patrons of the evening will be greeted outdoors by the gentle sounds of a djembe drum. Inside, live string music will be performed, with hors d’oeuvres and wine available while strolling the two floors of the museum to observe the art.

The event is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome both from those wishing to help sponsor the event and those attending. Proceeds benefit the Heritage Museum. For more information contact Dennis Martin at 560-6852 or John Gesick at 372-0965.

*A sneak preview for those with tickets to the fund raiser comedy show for the Child Advocacy Center being held that same evening is being held from 5-6 p.m.

 

From the Seguin Daily News

September 27, 2010

 

 

 

Auction draws art lovers to support Haiti

By Felicia Frazar
The Gazette-Enterprise

Published February 16, 2010

Area art connoisseurs opened their hearts and their wallets to honor a local sculptor and her country.

In the wake of the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated the country of Haiti — and in honor of local artist Marika Bordes’ Haitian roots — the Seguin Oakwood Art League decided to host an art auction benefit on Saturday at the Silver Center.

Artists from the area and beyond brought in some of their collected pieces or their own works of art to be sold through a live or silent auction, said Jeanne Palmer, Seguin Oakwood Art League president.

“We got donations from artists from San Antonio to Austin and a majority of the donations were from artist in the Seguin Area,” Palmer said. “People were just really outpouring. They just really embraced what we were doing.”

Along with the auctions, donation jars were placed throughout the room to generate more funds for the cause.

“Some people don’t really want to bring something else home, but they want to donate,” she said. “A little less than $500 came from the jars.”

All three forms of collection brought in nearly $10,000 to be distributed to three organizations — American Red Cross, Save The Children and Doctors Without Borders, Palmer said.

“The total funds that we have in our hand is $9,747, with the incoming funds it’s going to be over $9,800. It would not surprise me if we hit that $10,000 by the time all of the funds are in,” she said. “The majority of the funds are going to Red Cross, then Doctors Without Borders and then to Save The Children.”

Purchasers were given the opportunity to choose which charity their donation would benefit, said Dennis Martin.

“We were trying to come up with three organizations that everyone knows about and Save the Children and Doctors Without Borders both have offices in Haiti and I am sure the American Red Cross has one, as well,” he said.

Martha Swanson, artist, said she came out to support the cause and had donated some artwork to be sold.

“I think it’s a good thing,” she said. “We need to take any possible opportunity to help these people.”

Nearly 100 works were donated to the fundraiser. Twenty of them were designated to be sold in the live auction, but a couple of surprises were added — one only moments before the auction and the second in the middle, Palmer said.

“Edmund [Kuempel] gave us a Texas chair from the senate and then we had someone who brought a gift certificate for 10 hours of instruction from Marika and then donated it back,” she said.

Of the pieces auctioned off were two of Bordes’ sculptures and a teaching session with Bordes that brought in about $4,000.

Overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for her homeland, Bordes addressed the audience with a “thank you” note from her sister-in-law and a Haitian Creole song “Mèci Bon Dié.”

“It means, ‘Thank you, Oh Lord.’ I thanked the Lord like the people of my country would do,” she said. “I just wanted to be connected with my people and thank the Lord with everybody.”

Haitians may have never heard of Seguin, Texas, but through the tragedy they are feeling a connection to the area residents, Bordes said.

“Right now a small town they have never heard about — I have been sending them all of the papers for them — has been doing so much and they know that we are with them,” she said. “I think with that fundraiser it would help some smiles to come back on my peoples’ faces, like all of the fundraisers. It’s very neat and very moving of what is going on in this little community.”

Sculpture Exhibition

Marika

Sculptures in Wood

Marie-Carmel Bordes – Sculptor

George Washington Museum and Cultural Center

January 21 – April 3, 2010

From the museum’s media release:

Marika Sculptures in wood

Opens at George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center

When it comes to creativity in wood – (Marie-Carmel Bordes) has carved a niche in some of the most intriguing earth toned woods around. “Marika” Sculptures in wood will be on exhibit at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center starting Thursday, January 21 at 6:30 and the exhibit will end on Saturday, April 3rd.

Her discovered wellspring of creativity that is reflected in her 25 – 30 wood sculptures appearing at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center located on 1165 Angelina Street will also include an opportunity to learn more about her skills during the opening.  The opening is scheduled for Thursday, January 21 at 6:30.