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″

The “Pas de Deux” of Art and Healing- Dell Children’s Medical Center, Austin, TX

The folioing article appeared in the August newsletter of the Texas Society of Sculptors.

The “Pas de Deux” of Art and Healing

The days preceding our visit to the Dell Children’s Medical Center were full of enthusiasm.  Although we were anxious to view the art collection, our primary objective was to understand the role of artists in the healing process.

Upon entering the medical center one had to question if the outdoor signage was correct.  Are we in a hospital or a children’s museum?

The entrance, the puppet theater where we gathered and the kinetic artwork at the reception area greeted everyone with open arms.  Art, design and nature graced the spaciousness.  Walls of Texas stone, floors of mesquite, and art by local and global artists created a protective and nurturing environment.

Our docent provided a background on the center’s focus on art as part of the healing process. She explained that even before construction started, art was part of the design not an afterthought.  The institution follows the Planetree Model as a guide to enhance healthcare from the patient’s perspective.  Two critical components of this model are architectural design and art.

The experience of light pouring through grand windows, interior gardens and water features offer tranquility and harmony.   Simultaneously, it was amazing to observe, throughout the hospital, the quality of: abstract, figurative, religious, secular and naive artwork.  Whether placed in patients rooms, cafeteria, break rooms, hallways or in the gardens, art adds a sense of beauty and playfulness.  All of this, the architectural design and the art, brought together for one purpose: healing.

The Dell Children’s Medical Center boasts other unique and incredible features:

  • The largest private art collection in Texas,
  • Designation as a LEEDS Platinum Green Facility,
  • Is part of The Seton Healthcare Family Network,
  • The dog therapy wall commemorating 25 years of service,
  • Four 4’x8’ raised beds of vegetable and herbs.

So, the question are:

  • What did our president envision when she invited us to visit the Dell facility?
  • Was she challenging us with another perspective and another outlet for our art?
  • What can we do with it?  How can we enrich the life of others while evolving in our own sphere of art form?

She surely introduced us to another reality and deepened our thoughts on Art and Healing.  Our thanks go to her.

Marika Bordes, and

Dennis Martin

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

Invitation to Artist Reception on Sunday, July 21

The Georgetown Public Libray-Texas Society of Sculptors Sixth Annual Summer Sculpture Show

The artist reception for the sculpture show is Sunday, July 21, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.  This is a beautiful exhibit that is open through September 27, 2013.  There are over 105 works of sculpture on display at the library.  The library is a few blocks from the town square at 402 W. 8th Street, Georgetown, TX.

If you visit the library, you will see Marika’s two new sculptures, From Dream to Fairytale and The Storm, and the very tall Gwaihir standing at 14′.

Below is additional information about the show.

TSOS-2013-ePostcard Web