The Seguin Commission on the Arts
2014 Arts Enrichment Award
Saturday, February 22, 2014
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
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.
Her 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.
The Guadalupe Regional Medical Center: The Artist Wall
Sculptures by Marika and photographs by Dennis Martin are on display at the Guadalupe Regional Medical Center Artist Wall through December 2013. This is your opportunity to see sculptures that are on public view for the first and possibly the last time; they are on loan from private collections. Also, The Contortionist is on view for the first time. In addition to the Artist Wall, the medical center has two of Marika’s sculptures in their permanent collection. Maternitree is at the entrance to the Birthing Center and the Cross of St. Bridget is in the chapel. We hope you enjoy the exhibit.
This article by Marika appears in The Third Dimension: Newsletter for the Texas Society of Sculptors 1st Quarter Issue of 2013
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
An original and unique piece of artwork created during the first Arts Fest in Seguin will be unveiled at a reception in the lobby of the Utility Billing Department of City Hall, 205 N. River Street, on Tuesday, June 7 at 4:30 p.m. The public is invited to the unveiling and a reception will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m.
The title of the artwork is: “Art in Seguin…Deep in the Heart of Texans”. Thirty children of all ages and 13 selected local professional artists contributed to the 30” x 40” mixed media work. The artists and the downtown architectural feature they created are Roger Betschler, The Texas Theatre; Marika Bordes, The Chamber of Commerce; Matthew Chase, Central Park Fountain; Howard Crunk, The Mosheim Mansion; Carrie Davenport, The Courthouse; Alleen Donohue, Wells Fargo Bank; Barry Duncan, Starcke Furniture Company; Kristina Kelson, The Old Baptist Church; Henry Moore, The Old Post Office; Karen Roberson, The Old First National Bank; James Franklin Schmidt, City Hall; Helen Stein, The Courthouse; and Sandra Waite, the Tips Building.
Mixed media used in the project includes oil, acrylic, collage, photography, mosaic, plaster, ceramic, steel, computer design, and wood. Thirty children created the hearts and star tiles that frame the artwork.
The project is the brainstorm of local wood sculptor Marika Bordes. The artwork was created to support the efforts of the Seguin Commission on the Arts. It will be temporarily installed in City Hall until a permanent home is found for the piece.