PRESS RELEASE- TIMELY EVENT Nov 2-4 2017
Houston Sculptor Gets “Curious” at The Texas Art Education Conference.
It will be a Wonderland adventure at this year’s Texas Art Education (TAEA) Conference at Moody Gardens. The TAEA committee selected Houston, Texas Sculptor, and author Bridgette Mongeon as the 2017 keynote speaker. Many in Texas know the work of Mongeon. It can be seen in her numerous commissions of children, and in her Grambling Tiger and Prairie View Panther mascots. Her work extends to such distances as the sculpture of Neil Armstrong designated for Russia. And hits home in her recent commission of beloved jazz singer Norma Zenteno, and the whimsical sculpture of Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter Tea Party soon to be installed at Evelyn’s Park in Bellaire, Texas.
“Texas Art Education Association selected Bridgette Mongeon as our Conference Keynote speaker because, not only is she an advocate of STEAM, she encourages everyone to be ‘Curiouser and Curiouser.’ She motivates artists to reach their creative potential and to inspire students to obtain the same.” States Suzanne Greene, TAEA President.
STEAM is based on the educational initiative focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) but adds an essential Art component that helps to create a dialogue, explore, and present, while encouraging critical thinking. Mongeon has been introducing adults and children to the features of STEAM for years. Her recent book “3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting, and Milling” is groundbreaking and features work of artists from all over the world. In the book, Mongeon describes how artists push the limits and use digital technology combined with fine art. The book was a number one new release on Amazon, is required reading in some higher education classes, and has become a part of the permanent collection in such libraries as the Hirsch Library — Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas and the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York.
Mongeon uses a combination of digital and traditional sculpture in her own Houston, Texas studio. “In the creating of ‘Move One Place On,’ we used this combination in spades, or should we say ‘hearts,'” States Mongeon. You could say that Alice and her friends grew big and small in Mongeon’s studio, not with elixirs and mushrooms, but with technology.
Creating incredible pieces of art is important to Mongeon but being able to add an educational element to any project inspires her just as much as the art. She finds ways to do that with anything she creates. She documents most of her work in online blogs for clients. The more historical or educational the project, the better the educational elements. Individuals are learning about space exploration from her blog of Neil Armstrong and United in Space. They learned about the history of the newsboy in her sculpture and blog of the Newsboy for the Texas Press Association, and about the influence of seeing-eye dogs for the blind in her recent commission of John Turner and his seeing eye dog created for Frisco Texas. For Mongeon, every project is an opportunity to educate.
“Just because I completed the sculpture of the Mad Hatter’s tea party titled ‘Move One Place On,’ it does not mean that the education and the experiments and pushing of the boundaries of the technology are over,” States Mongeon.
Mongeon enjoyed hiding 150 elements in the bronze in honor of the 150th anniversary of the endearing story of Alice in Wonderland . She created a Wonderland Detective Series and free downloadable detective books where people can document their findings. The intrigue of finding the elements is not just for children but is enjoyed by adults and families as well. Mongeon is working on a series of YouTube videos that will help individuals learn about the hidden items as well as the literature and the elements of STEAM. She is also creating a curriculum that parents and traditional education and homeschools can use.
The future technology with her Alice project is also fascinating. She had each of the monumental clay pieces digitally scanned in her studio by Smart Geometrics. Scanning art was an intriguing opportunity for Smart Geometrics who usually creates 3D scans of such things as oil refineries. Mongeon will be reducing these scans, working on them in the computer, and collaborating with 3DSYSTEMS to recreate the sculptures in 3D printed miniatures—exact replicas of the monumental sculpture, but as a small limited edition bronzes.
Some of her vendors will be coming to the conference and will display how they have scanned hidden object, reduced the scans for 3D printing, so that the artist can create miniature collectibles. Finally, once the foundry installs the sculpture at Evelyn’s Park, Smart Geometrics has offered to come back into the park and 3D scan the entire area. This 3D scan can be used to create a virtual reality of the whole scene. That way, anyone in the world can visit “Move One Place On.” Mongeon also hopes to collaborate with a gaming company that can take the virtual reality and create it into an online educational resource. For Mongeon, the educational opportunities are indeed a curious adventure.
TAEA conference scheduled for November 2-4 2017 at Moody Gardens is open to art teachers and members of the Texas Art Education Association members.
Form More information on this press release please contact
Jessica Brown- Assistant
Or Bridgette Mongeon