Texas Folklife Festival

Seguin Daily News article, June 8, 2012:

Local sculptor to take part in Texas Folklife Festival

By Cindy Aguirre-Herrera

(Seguin) — The thousands of guests expected at this weekend’s Texan Cultures Texas Folklife Festival in San Antonio will get a taste of art from Seguin.

Local sculptor Marika Bordes has been invited to demonstrate her art and wood sculpting during this year’s Folklife Festival of the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Bordes says she is honored to have been invited and looks forward to sharing her talent with others.

“It’s really a big opportunity for me to show to people what I am doing and what we are doing here in Seguin,” said Bordes.

Bordes says she always appreciates the opportunity to create in front of others. She says her objective this weekend will be to show the importance of art in any community.

“I will be giving demonstrations. I will be taking some accomplished sculptures you know that are finished to show them what it looks like and then fix them in order to give an idea of the process. I will bring pieces of wood and my chisel and give them a demonstration – show them exactly how it starts from the beginning to the end,” said Bordes.

Bordes is scheduled to begin her demonstration at 11 a.m. Saturday. She will continue her demonstrations through late afternoon. The 41st Texas Folklife Festival runs from Friday through Sunday at the Institute of Texan Cultures located on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus at 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Gates are open Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults in advance or $13 at the gate. Children ages 6-12 are $5 while children five and under are free. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased online at Texasfolklifefestival.org.

 

The Power of Language: Presentation to Alpha Mu Gamma Honor Society, Texas Lutheran University

Lately, I have come to understand that the value of any human being resides in his capacity to absorb and transform the elements received from the diverse schools of life. What a wonderful world!

 In the beginning was The Word,  and

The word was spread around the globe

In many languages

For the use of human beings.

Go and spread what you have learned,

For it will make humanity stand a little taller, and,

Your passage on planet earth

Will not be in vain

Honorees, Ladies and Gentlemen here present, it has been a pleasure to share  the insightful values of what we’ve all learned on our mother’s knee:

The power of language.

Briesemeister Middle School Students and Marika Go “One Day Without Shoes”

Click here to listen: Marika’s Presentation to Briesemeister Middle School Students, Seguin, TX

Today, I would like to take you to another world and share the journey with some of the children of other cultures who like you, this day, are walking barefoot.  Unlike you, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and the following one, they will still be walking barefoot to school, because of their poverty.

 In many countries the child’s first pair of shoes is a gift longtime remembered and cherished.  It is a rite of passage.  I see that the purpose of your actions is to understand others. By doing this you are learning to see the world in a different way.  So as you help others through this rite of passage, you, yourself are also maturing.

Shoeless Students Make Statement at SISD

Seguin Gazette Felicia Frazar | Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 12:00 am

SEGUIN — A handful of junior high students walked around Briesemeister barefoot on Tuesday.

The seventh- and eighth-graders choose to walk around either barefoot or with only socks.

The students who are part of the Friends of Rachel clubs at the school joined the worldwide movement A Day Without Shoes, said club sponsor Mark Keddal.

“This was a student’s idea,” he said. “We were talking about character issues and bullying and things that people take for granted that might be perceived as cruel and we are trying to change the atmosphere. Part of our discussion was how we, as a small group, could to try to make an impact and somebody came up with the idea of participating in this Day Without Shoes for TOMS.”

TOMS is a shoe company that pledges to donate shoes to those without, according to its website.

“With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for one,” the website stated.

The children wanted to be a part of something bigger, Keddal said.

“This is a part of a world-wide effort to recognize that about a 1 billion people go shoeless, mostly children and there are a number of diseases that are caused by it,” he said. “There are a number of dangerous things that can happen being barefooted, other than disease.”

As part of the learning experience, the students got to spend their lunch time with local artist Marika Bordes, who talked about the country she is originally from and the poverty she saw in that country.

“I was born in Haiti,” she told the students. “And in my country the child’s first pair of shoes are a gift that is truly remembered and cherished. It is a right of passage. Here we are lucky. We take the use of shoes for granted.”

During her visit with the students, she praised their efforts to spread awareness.

“You are learning to see the world in a different way,” she said. “I think this is wonderful because it is not something of fashion. For you all to walk barefooted looked simple but why you are doing it is not. Just think of the many who don’t have the fortune to wear shoes. It is important for you to talk about it. This is not to make you feel guilty. You are lucky to have shoes but just think about the others that don’t.”

Keddal said the idea behind Tuesday’s movement was to raise awareness about those who barefoot — and not by choice.

“She is such a powerful presence and I figure if the kids remembered anything they would remember her,” he said. “She captivated them. I asked if she could come talk about a place where people lived without shoes.”

Hearing Bordes’ stories about Haiti and its people, those who live in poverty and the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake that shook the world, inspired a couple of the students.

One student said she wanted to sell bracelets to raise money to buy shoes for the countries who are without.

Another group wanted to know how they could donate items — clothing, shoes and other necessities — to Haiti.

© 2012 Seguin Gazette.

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:

The Cross for The Road to Emmaus

 

 

From the beginning, the creation of the sculpture revolved around the question “Who is to hold the cross?”  We tend to see the death of Jesus through Michelangelo’s Pieta, the portrayal of  Mary, the mother, holding the lifeless body of her Son.  But in the reality of this journey, we are closer to the weaknesses of Mary Magdalene than to the holiness of the Mother of Jesus.


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