SAVE THE DATE: November 14, 2015 – Open Studio & Art Sale

Excited about the upcoming open studio. I have several new pieces and look forward to seeing new works by my fellow neighbors.


The Guiton St. Artists 2015 Fall Open Studio & Art Sale

Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 14, for the 2015 Fall Open Studio & Art Sale. This is the second of our annual open studio events where you can see and purchase artwork directly from the artists. The event takes place from 2:00 to 8:00 pm.

Participating Resident Artists are:

Shirley Lavine, Caroline Ratliff, Maggi Dunwoody,
Helene Robinson, Paula Winter, Eleanor McCarthy,
Sunny McKinnon, Janis Edel, Bruce Williamson,
Tahamia Spain, Mary McJunkin, Lilibeth André

Guiton St. Artists
West Loop Building
4848 Guiton Street (multiple studios-look for the open doors)
Houston, Texas 77027

Open Studio 1015

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About Sargazo, Mangroves, And White Beaches

In a recent trip to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico I heard about sargazo. As Gulf Coast neighbors, we see sargazo in Galveston, Texas so it was something I had seen before. The key is that the quantities of sargazo on the white sandy beaches in Quintana Roo is a growing problem.srgazo-palco-quintanarroense

Sargazo is a brown algae with little bead-like bladders. It floats in tropical waters and looks greenish-yellowish with a slight bit of brown. Sometimes it sinks to the bottom too. When it comes to the surface and floats to the shore with the current it feels uncomfortable to walk on. When it dries and acquires its deep rust coloring, not only does it poke your feet but it also smells as it decays. Not good for tourists who walk barefoot.

More and more sargazo is being seen coming to the shores. Why is that?

The locals tell me that there are four reasons why this is happening:mangrovespc300093_438x0_scale

  1. Climate change: The water is increasing in temperature. Warmer water means a more ideal environment sargazo. I enjoyed the warm water but the warmer water is affecting the ecosystem.
  2. Mangroves: Mangroves are tropical evergreens that tolerate salt-water. They have long tubular roots that are exposed and sink into the water. These trees and shrubs have multiple functions in the ecosystem. They anchor the beach thus prevent erosion, they protect the coast from the devastation of hurricanes, and they also help purify the water. The loss of mangroves is opening the doors to more sargazo coming onto the naked beach.
  3. Development: By developing more beaches to create room for new buildings and more sandy beaches, more mangroves are being removed from pristine coasts to create open beaches. These open beaches are also more exposed to erosion and thus, loss of coastline. The removal of mangroves and other vegetation creates a loss of housing, food sources and protection to many other creatures that benefit the balance of the ecosystem.
  4. Pesticides: The vicious circle of pesticide use is also at play. Pesticides that pollute the environment, kill more members of the ecosystem and cause greater risk to every creature who is part of the ecosystem, including humans.

yucatan-outdoorsThese are only four reasons I was told are throwing this beautiful area off balance. There may be others we are not aware of. When nature is thrown off balance it tends to adjust itself. Perhaps not in our lifetime or to conditions that are to our liking or benefit but it does find its balance. If we can respect and sustain the ecosystem and work with nature as it is today, we are sustaining our own life and enjoyment in and of the current ecosystem.

What do you think?


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    © Lilibeth André and Art by Lilibeth André, 2009-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this text, images or content without express and written permission Lilibeth André is strictly prohibited. For permission to license, exhibit or purchase any of the artwork, email Links to this site may be made with full and clear accreditation to Lilibeth André and Art by Lilibeth André.