State of the Organization Address

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Photo courtesy of http://www.bilsullivanphotography.com
State of the Organization Address to the Seguin Art League at Texas Lutheran University on January 09, 2016 (duration: 16:30)

The State of the Organization Address

Fellow Art League Members,

Distinguished Guests,

Welcome to our State of the Organization Address and thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to attend this gathering.  We extend our gratitude to Tom Engler for his beautiful and inspiring music and to Mary Jo Langford for the insightful presentation on the arts in our community.  Wow!  What a great way to refresh and continue on the journey for this new year.

Connecting the arts and the community: this is our purpose.

What does the Seguin Art League do for the community?

Are we just a group of artists looking for a place to show and sell our art, or,     are we a cultural beacon for the community?

Let’s look at the record.

In order to understand our involvement in the community, we need to take a look at the past.  Since 1982, the art league has been moving and shaping the cultural landscape of Seguin by providing scholarships for local students, having exhibitions, hosting demonstrations and workshops, and actively participating in  Seguin sponsored events such as,  ArtsFest, Earth Day, Pecan Fest, Trade Days, and the Holiday and Fourth of July parades.

  • During 2015, as in other years, we organized art exhibitions for the public to enjoy.  We had two exhibits just for students: one for elementary and middle schools and the other for high schools.  The remaining exhibits included one for painting, another for photography, one all media, and a members only show.
  • In August, two of our members held a Summer Art Camp called “Super Heroes” for children of all ages, teaching a variety of media and techniques.
  • As part of our fundraising efforts, we held 3 silent auctions.
  • In December we hosted YuleFest the annual fine crafts sale at the coliseum,
  • To support the arts in Seguin, two of our members are on the advisory board of The Seguin Commission for the Arts.

Artists are not timid in their dreams.  Innovation does not happen without creative minds injecting constructive possibilities and alternatives to the status quo.  To advance the arts, we embarked on a fantastic journey.  We needed to expand  cultural horizons.  We needed a home, we bought a building.  We started a new journey.

With enthusiasm and grit members made the initial steps.  Teams formed to clear and clean the building.  The art league received an early boost from the Seguin Main Street Program’s Fix-it Facade and with local contractors the front of the building received a facelift.  Members went to work hosting fundraisers, submitting grants, requesting estimates to repair or replace the old and leaky roof.  A new member with an engineering background along with others began the work of hiring an engineering company to study the structural integrity of the building.  With the study and the final report nearly complete, we will soon have cost estimates for the necessary repairs for the roof, walls and foundation.     At the meeting next Saturday, you will hear a status report of the findings to date.

With the building, there is good news and there is bad news.  The bad news is we have a building.  The transformation of our home into a center for the arts calls out like a new-born for a colossal amount of tender loving care. No longer the art league of yesterday, we are new parents with  responsibility to raise this child into adulthood.  We must heed the clarion call for hard work and nurturing, endurance and resilience, intelligence and inspiration.

The good news is we have a building.  What a gift it is, a blank canvas to write our legacy.  Who better to nurture a building than artists whose purpose in life is to fill emptiness with beauty and perspective.  What makes me burn with passion for this journey is you.  This is a membership organization overflowing with goodwill, electrified energy, unbounded creativity and desire.  The beauty of the Art League is that it is more than a building; it is you.  Let us spread our creative wings.  Each of us is a rich and vibrant tapestry of life with knowledge and wisdom.  Our stories connect us to the past and the place where we stand today.

Have you seen the amazing, creative responses to the problems facing us?  In order to receive hotel and occupancy tax funding, we needed to capture geographical data about visitors.  We had them place their zip code on the back of raffle tickets.  This was so clever, a city council member used it as an example for other organizations to follow.  Look at how we created a water catchment system for the leaking roof, or found a way to raise money with leftover wood found in the building.  By the way, the wooden christmas ornaments were just adorable and a success.

The renovation of the building may appear overwhelming, yet we are moving forward.  We are improving our organizational capacity through a major revision of our Bylaws and Standing Rules.  Efforts are under way for a strategic plan for the organization, a masterplan for the building, plans for improving community outreach and for development.  I am not saying that we are not going to have our moments of: “Houston we have a problem” but we shall endure and thrive.

The destiny of our building, the Klein Opera House, is to be the locomotive that  propels the Art League into its role as a cultural force/beacon in the community.   This home of the arts is a promise for the future, a blank canvas that will enable people to tell their story, to share their talents and combine their passions.  Our dream for this town of a grandiose space is to not only share our art but to welcome the  works of artists from around the globe.  We do this to let Seguin shine by connecting the arts with the community so that everyone feels a little bit taller and a little bit happier.

Great things happen when a community comes together for a common cause.  Look at the economic development activities with all new businesses moving here.  Three bond issues passed by an overwhelming majority of the citizens for education, knowledge and recreation.  Texas Lutheran University opened a department of nursing, a sports stadium and there are plans for the Caroline M. Westin Performing Arts Center.   A new boutique hotel restaurant is now open on the square.  Seguin is in motion and entering a golden age and we are an important part of it.  Our future is bright.

Now is the time, today is the day.  We embark on our finest hour bound to the common cause.  At this historic moment, everybody’s slice of genius must be unleashed and harnessed to turn the wheels of progress into a collective and sustainable solution for this endeavor.  Each of us has the responsibility for the success or failure of this organization. We are here today to promise that we shall get to the promised land together.  For this mission, failure is not an option.

May God bless us and May God bless the Seguin Art League and May God bless the most talented town in the Guadalupe Valley.

Thank you.

 

The Flying Leaves at Texas Lutheran University

The Unveiling Ceremony

“The Flying Leaves”

Texas Lutheran University

Student Alumni Center
November 14, 2014

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Dr. Stuart Dorsey President, TLU

Dr. Stuart Dorsey
President, TLU

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Mr. Rick Roberts, Vice-President for Development and Alumni Relations

 

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Comments by Marika:

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the debut of The Flying Leaves.

Creativity flowers in the doing, in the experiencing of life, and in having community.  Over 30,000 years ago, artists connected their communities by creating art on the walls of caves.  Since, the methods of artists have changed while the impulse to connect has not.  “The Flying Leaves,” are a perfect example.

In commissioning this Bas-relief wood sculpture, the TLU Development Office called upon the creativity of our community to make a statement out of a piece of American walnut.

As a great force of nature capable of spreading beauty and understanding, this piece of wood pictures the clear channel of spiritual communion between the university and the students.  Thank you TLU for giving us the opportunity to connect with you through a state of creative grace and a sense of the sublime.

I would like to pay tribute to a friend Dr. Evelyn Streng who left us today.  She was a constant inspiration in the making of the leaves.  She did not handle mallet and chisels but truly she had a hand in fashioning the message of the sculpture.  In September she told me that even if she is not present for the unveiling ceremony she will be there with us.

Having you here today is a truly humbling experience.  So allow me to end now by thanking each and every one of you for celebrating the arts and for being part of this community.

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The Flying Leaves American Walnut H 24" W 108" D 2"

The Flying Leaves
American Walnut
H 24″ W 108″ D 2″

Flying Leaves C

Detail

Detail

 

 

 

 

 

Plaque for  “Flying Leaves”

The TLU Development Office project begins with straight-forward design specifications of a tree and leaves for the artwork.  From there, the idea flows into the realm of visual artistry.  The rendezvous of ideas and art leads to a tree with a strong trunk deeply rooted to a rich landscape.  Carrying the essence of the concept into a Bas-relief wood sculpture, a locally harvested American Walnut, gives birth to “The Flying Leaves”.

The symbolism behind the tree and the leaves is the interconnectivity between the university and its graduates.

  • The tree with its many limbs, represents Texas Lutheran University;
  • The flying leaves are the graduating students who after a period of learning boldly leave the university with the mission of “Live to Inspire”; and
  • The landscape is the journey ahead into the greater community.

The wisdom of the narrative resides in the harmonious cycle of this interconnectivity.  The seeds of knowledge germinate, the leaves spread the news and the world becomes a better place.

The artists

Marika (Marie-Carmel Bordes) a Seguin artist, originally from the Caribbean Island of Haiti, is the official sculptor of “The Flying Leaves”.  With a wonderful moment of celebration in mind, she leads the concept of the Bas-relief sculpture with the assistance of Howard E. Crunk, a TLU graduate in the arts, class of 2007.   Together with mallet and chisels, they testify to the indelible legacy of the alma mater and the alumni.

Dennis Martin and Marika Bordes

Awards for The Beggar and The Thinker

Awards

The Beggar

A second place award went to The Beggar at the New Braunfels Art League Gallery exhibition Art in the Hills. Landa King, Chair of the Department of Visual Arts Texas Lutheran University, was the juror.  She commented:

Sensitive to the wood, in this case Mesquite wood, the viewer feels the weight of the beggar as possibly the beggar bears the weight of the World.  Beautiful execution of “oneness” between the sculptor and the medium.

The Beggar Mesquite H17" W11" D11.5"

The Beggar
Mesquite
H17″ W11″ D11.5″

The Thinker

The Thinker earned a second place award at the 2014 Texas Society of Sculptors/Georgetown Public Library.  The juror, Kris Whitfield President of the Round Rock Arts Council, stated:

The tipping of the hat and the expression on the face makes him look deep in thought.  I love the elongated neck and arms which is such a contrast to Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’.

The Thinker Bronze 2/9 H22" W6" D9"

The Thinker
Bronze 2/9
H22″ W6″ D9″

Creating Sculptures with Marika: The Video

The Sculpting Process

Sculpting wood is a time-consuming and labor-intensive effort requiring imagination and discipline. This brief video gives the viewer a window to the sculptor’s arduous journey from a piece of raw wood to a finished work of art.  Join the sculptor as she creates the following sculptures:

Plenitude

The sculpture is a commission to celebrates the birth of a first grandchild.

The Little Prince

Marika made this sculpture as the center piece for her solo exhibition at Bihl Haus Arts.

 The Flying Leaves

The Flying Leaves, a work-in-progress, is a commission for Texas Lutheran University.

 

Texas Lutheran University 2014 Annual Student Art Show

“Must See”

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This beautifully arranged art show is the proof that vision and talent are thriving in our Seguin community.  Located at the Schuech Fine Arts Center, the show closes May 8.  This display of art is an excellent occasion to realize what is being taught at the university in our town.   Visit and experience that breath of fresh air from our next generation of artists.

Kyle Olson, Assistant Professor, The Department of Visual Arts, invited Marika Bordes and Dennis Martin to jury the Annual Student Art Show.  What an honor!  Thank you TLU for allowing us to be part of such an awesome venue.  The students inspired us with their creativity, professional presentation of work, and diversity and depth of expression.  Kudos must go to the teaching staff for unrelentingly bringing out, year after year, the best in their students.  We are proud of you.

First place honors for 2D went to:

Emily Ullrich for “Peppers n’ Onions” an oil on canvas still life.

At the opening reception, Emily surprised us with the news that the painting was her first using oil.  Bravo!

Jurors’ Comments:

Physical presentation of the artwork:  is of high standard.

Conception in the planning of the art piece: is clearly executed.

Mastery of the medium: is evident.

Rendering of the use of light:  is well executed.

The WOW! factors: are lighting and texture.

Peppers n' Onions

Peppers n’ Onions

First place honors for 3D went to:

Cason Miller for “The Cyclops” a wood sculpture made from an old chair.  Cason is planning a visit to Marika’s studio.  We look forward to his visit.

Juror’s Comments:

Creativity:   It stands out from the crowd.

The presentation of the subject is done in a way that it had not been done before.

Artistic design: There is a sense of balance.

The impact: Brings all the elements together to create a positive impact with recycled materials.

The Cyclops

The Cyclops

For the President’s 2014 Christmas Card, a committee selected the art of Mary Grace  Riddle.  Mary also has excellent paintings of dog portraits.  Wait until you see Ms. Juliet, the dog with the pleading-for-goodies look in her eyes.

Ms. Juliet

Ms. Juliet

Jurors Statement

Texas Lutheran University

2014 Annual Student Art Show

Pushing the limits of the craft and creativity of art best describes the 2014 Annual Texas Lutheran University Student Art Show.  The most important elements of the show are:

  1. The jurors felt the artists followed many different avenues in medium and subject matter for the sheer joy of expression.
  2. One senses the strong effort in the use of technique, lighting and composition in the creative process.
  3. The jurors very much appreciated the creativity of vision found in the art.

We used the following criteria in jurying the show:

1. Creativity in:

subject, interpretation and vision;

2. Artistic design:

lines, sense of balance, and composition;

3. Knowledge of the medium:

technique and execution;

4. Presentation of the art form:

degree of excellence in presenting the artwork: and

5. Impact:

Impact overall, and the WOW! Factor.

Nota bene emerging artists:

Our recommendation to each of you who entered the show is continue developing technique and creativity.  Enjoy the world of art, its inspiration and your place in it.

May you have a creative life.

Marika Bordes and Dennis Martin

 

In the left column of this page are links to the Department of Visual Arts under “Art Organizations” and to Professor Kyle Olson and art student Mary Grace Riddle under “Artists”.

 

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.