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Aransas County artist to open shop despite Harvey damage, crooked contractor

Posted: 10:15 PM, Dec 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-12 00:22:29-05

Marilyn Herzik got a double dose of Hurricane Harvey heartbreak, but she’s still opening her art studio and gallery for business.

“I want to just paint,” Herzik said. “Possibly paint to get out of poverty.”

She estimates that Harvey caused around $40,000 in damage to her property including holes in the roofs of her home and art studio. That figure doesn’t count the thousands of dollars she could have made selling paintings that got ruined in that studio.

“I lost about 40 years of art,” Herzik said. “I lost a lot of paintings, but I still managed to save a few.”

Some of those saved paintings are damaged either by flying debris or water. Herzik estimates that up to three feet of water flooded her property when the Category 4 hurricane roared ashore in August of 2017.

“Harvey left a lot of destruction,” she said.

Repairs would come, but she says the roof work a contractor did on her home and studio was shoddy.

“I’ve rebuilt,” she said. “I put a new roof on, rebuilt the veranda. But now the roof is leaking. And so now it’s as if I’m starting over again.”

She also says one of the same contractor’s workers stole two of her paintings.

“I didn’t even get to finish them,” Herzik said. “And they were pieces that I’d worked on for months and months. So, somewhere those paintings are floating around. Somebody has them.”

Herzik happens to be the mother of Deanna Spruce of Aransas County Long Term Recovery. Spruce says she’s proud of the work her mother is doing and her attitude.

“She’s very positive,” Spruce said. “She’s overcome many obstacles, and we’re just so proud of her that she’s achieved so much.”