Mandela-Nelle’s New York City Debut

The American Artists Professional League

86th  Grand National Exhibition

Salmagundi Club

Bronze H20" W7" D10"

Bronze
H20″ W7″ D10″

Address: Forty-Seven Fifth Avenue, New York, 10003
Show dates: Monday, November 10 – Friday, November 21, 2014
Announcements of Awards: Sunday, November 16, 2014

The American Artists Professional League

National Art Exhibition:

In its ongoing effort to promote and encourage artists specializing in realistic art forms, the AAPL has staged a Grand National Exhibition for over 83 years. Each year, hundreds of applicants from all 50 states in all media submit their work for review by a selection committee consisting of professional artists in the fields of oil, watermedia, pastel and graphics and sculpture.

History:

In January 1928, F. Ballard Williams, Assistant Treasurer of the National Academy of Design in New York, called a meeting of fifteen members of the Salmagundi Club. The purpose: to discuss the need for a national organization to meet the increasing interests in traditional realism in American art. Most attending were prominent academicians of their day. The attendees all agreed that an organization designed to protect artists’ interests and promote traditional American art was necessary and The American Artists Professional League (AAPL) was born.

The Salmagundi Club

About:

Founded in 1871, the Salmagundi Club is one of the oldest art organizations in the United States. Housed in an historic brownstone mansion in Greenwich Village, New York City, the Club offers programs including art classes, exhibitions, painting demonstrations, and art auctions throughout the year for members and the general public.

The Club owns a collection of over 1,500 works of art spanning its 140 year history and has a membership of nearly 850 artists and patrons. Its members have included important American artists such as Thomas Moran, William Merritt Chase, Louis Comfort Tiffany, N.C. Wyeth and Childe Hassam. Today the Club builds on this legacy by providing a center for the resurgence of representational art in America.

The Salmagundi facilities include three galleries, a library, an elegant period parlor, and a restaurant and bar with vintage pool tables.

Sculpture of a Woman- A Work-in-Progress

Sculpture of a Woman- Untitled

The sculpture, a work-in-progress, measures H17″ W4″ D3″ and is made of pecan wood.  Marika is in the process of refining the figure and will soon begin sanding by hand.

IMG_6399 IMG_6405 IMG_6408 IMG_6411 IMG_6415

 

The Ascetic

Studio Photos of The Ascetic

A few days ago, The Ascetic took up permanent residence in New Braunfels.  Since you will not see him out and about anytime soon, we would like to share these farewell photos with you.  We will surely miss him.

Ascetic Full

Ascetic Half Front

Ascetic Left Front

Ascetic Half left Front

Ascetic back

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

Tranquil-Essence: A 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration

Celebration

To celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary a couple commissioned a sculpture.  What an honor it is for me to be part of such a momentous and personal occasion.  Such an honor and trust does raise the bar of creativity and excellence.  Tranquil-Essence is made of pecan and has a mesquite base.

Tranquil-Essence

Tranquil-Essence

IMG_4174 IMG_4452 IMG_4471 IMG_4501 IMG_4507 IMG_4522

Tomorrow’s Oneness

The Gazette-Enterprise

Local artists team up for charity

By Tucker Stephenson

Published June 3, 2009

SEGUIN — When “Arts. For Life.” co-chair Jack Linden was looking for a piece of art to be raffled off at the June 27 event, he went straight to an expert.

Linden sought out local wood sculptor Marika Bordes and asked her if she would put her talents to use to benefit the Guadalupe Regional Medical Center — again.

“I have seen her previous work, she has one called ‘Balancing Act’ and I’ve been in love with that one for a long time,” Linden said. “I’ve seen some of her other work, she has one called ‘The Goddess’ which is probably seven feet tall. Then I’ve seen also, she’s doing a sculpture for the maternity ward for the new hospital, so there’s another thing.

“I’ve seen a lot of her work — she’s an incredibly creative person.”

But with Bordes already commissioned to start working on the maternity ward piece, she knew that she might find herself in a time-crunch trying to complete the piece for the fundraiser.

“Jack was here and he had asked me to do a sculpture,” Bordes said. “And because I was doing a commission for the hospital already, I told him that it would be difficult to finish it on time, but if I was working in cooperation with somebody else, I would be able to get it on time.”

So the search for a potential collaborator began, although it didn’t take long for Bordes to find one.

Enter recent Texas Lutheran University grad and former Seguin High School student Howard Crunk, who was already set to be donating a painting to the hospital’s cause.

“The name of Howard came up because I think Howard was going to give one of his paintings,” Bordes said. “And I said, ‘He is a good artist — we could work together.’”

So the partnership began, with Bordes — the recipient of first-place prizes in Seguin, Kerrville and New York City — playing the role of Mr. Miyagi to Crunk’s Daniel-san. For those that don’t know their “Karate Kid,” that just means that she acted as a mentor to the talented, young artist — although she admits that the learning process was a two-way street.

“He is not really my student,” Bordes said. “He learned from me and I learned from him. He has a sense of design of drawing that is absolutely remarkable. I couldn’t do it by myself because of a question of time, without the two of us, it was not possible.”

The sculpture, made from a Chinaberry tree, is now completed, described by the artist as being a man and woman wrapped into one single being — mirroring the creative collaboration that took place between Crunk and Bordes’ styles.

“I guess you could say the ebb and flow between a man and a woman becoming as one individual,” Crunk said. “I think I brought more of the naturalistic design aspect and I guess you would say she brought more of the spiritual concept.”

Throughout the project, Crunk said that he took some valuable lessons with him for the future, in which he plans to keep broadening his artistic horizons.

“It was a very abundant learning experience — I learned so much it’s hard to put it into words,” Crunk said before discussing his career goals. “First and foremost, it’s to continue to create art and then eventually, go on to other aspects, such as animation, digital art, etcetera.”

That future appears to be very bright, as Linden said that the finished product reflects the work of someone who is about to make their mark on the art community.

“It just showed him coming out,” Linden said. “Marika saw that in him — now he’s just bringing something out that I don’t think he knew he had and I think that’s one of the bright things about that — that he started seeing things in his drawing on that wood and then he started bringing it out, so it was marvelous seeing it.”

The sculpture is now officially part of the “Art. For Life” raffle, with tickets for the drawing being sold at the GRMC gift shop for $20 apiece, or two for $30. And until Jackson Auditorium opens its doors for the inaugural event — slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. three weeks from Saturday — the piece will also be on display at the gift shop.

That way, everyone can get an up-close view of something that Linden has known for quite a while.

“(Bordes) takes a piece of wood and sees something in it that I don’t see,” Linden said. “But I guess that what makes a good sculptor. Michelangelo always said that there’s somebody in the marble wanting to get out and I think she sees that in the wood.”

In addition to her work on the maternity sculpture, Bordes is working on her home studio, which she plans to have ready for an exhibition by August 15. More information on her artwork is available online at www.marikasculpture.com .

General admission seats for the Arts. For Life. event, which includes a performance by the Mid-Texas Symphony, are on sale now for $50 at the GRMC gift shop, as well as Gift & Gourmet, Cascades and the Area Chamber of Commerce. Reserved seats are $75 or $100, depending on location, can only be purchased by calling the foundation office at 830-401-7721.

Tomorrows Oneness

Tomorrow’s Oneness

Sculptors Howard Crunk & Marika Bordes

Copyright © 2009 The Gazette-Enterprise