Jamie Teich, Library Assistant, Acquisitions, Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon and Jason Valdez Library Assistant, Serials and Reference.

Jamie Teich, Library Assistant, Acquisitions, Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon and Jason Valdez Library Assistant, Serials and Reference.

What artist wouldn’t be delighted to have their work a part of the collection in the Museum of Fine Arts. Well, I can say mine is.  Well, not my artwork, but my book. Today the Museum of Fine Arts Houston accepted my book into the Hirsch Library. Chief Librarian Jon Evans and I spoke at the end of last year, and this is the first chance I have had to get down there and bring my book. The book focuses on a lot of fine artists around the world who are using digital technology in their fine art. Last year I found a post on Linked in from Robert Kimberly, an art installer at the MFA. He purchased my book to understand more about one of the pieces he was installing. It was dragon bench by  Joris Laarman. I had no idea the MFA Houston even owned a work by the artist that I featured in my book.  There are many very prominent artists in this book. I’m honored to have had their acquaintance when writing it. I’m even more tickled that it is now a part of the permanent collection at the Hirsch Library. It may be a small thing to others, but for me, to have my book both in the Albright Knox collection and in the MFA Houston, well it is big.

Now, my next goal is to lecture at the MFA about these artists, their process and how digital technology is being embraced by many fine artists, as well as how it is infiltrating some of the traditional sculpting processes.  More on that soon… I hope.

Norma Zenteno sculpture ProjectToday was an exciting day as I met with the family of Norma Zenteno. I’ll soon be starting a sculpture of Norma for the family. The sculpture is of a young Norma playing guitar while a dog looks on. The family will be placing this sculpture at the Brown Foundation Plaza on Harrisburg in Houston’s East End. The sculpture honors Norma and the work of Barrio Dogs. 

The family and I sat together and talked about the scheduling details, fundraising and contracts,  then parted, but at the last minuteI asked if I could see the place where the family was installing her.

Let me back up a bit, If you don’t know my work, I am known for quite a few things in the fine art field. I often incorporate digital technology in my traditional process as I talk about in my last book, I love sculpting children, For a while there everyone referred to me as “the cat girl” because I created the Prairie View Panther for Prairie View University and the very large Grambling Tiger for Grambling State University. I guess recently people know me for the monumental sculpture of Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter Tea party which will be installed in November and can be seen on both the Facebook page and the website.

Houston, Texas sculptor Bridgette Mongeon brings literature to life

Diliberto Photo and Design came by and did a wonderful photo shoot for press photos.

I am also known for my sculptures of deceased loved one. For many, this may sound like a very macabre thing to do, but I love it. A few years back Texas Country Reporter created a segment on this portion of my art. I love developing a relationship with the deceased; I love helping families and individuals come together around the likeness of a loved one that I create. I love giving recognition to an individual and honoring their life through my art.I have written much about this process of sculpting deceased loved ones, and one day I hope to publish a book about it.

In walking this one path of my creative journey, I have found that there are some incredible things that happen. It has been a while since I created a life-size sculpture of a deceased loved one. I had almost forgotten about the connections and unusual occurrences that happen when beginning this creative process. It is strange, unusual, wonderful and incredibly inspirational.

That is what happened today. On the way to the destination for the sculpture, I began to get a “feel” for a part of the sculpture. There is a thing that happens during these types of commissions that I can only describe as a “knowing.” Though it has happened over and over again with countless posthumous commissions, it never ceases to excite me. In the case of Norma, it is like she is walking beside me, causing things to happen or showing me how things should go. She solidifies our connection and is in the details, and slowly I get to know her and develop a relationship with her even though we have never met.

I’m delighted with what transpired today. I can’t wait for our next meeting when we prepare some photo reference for the project. The family will be a part of this sitting, a loved one is taking her place wearing clothes similar to Norma’s so that I can get a feel for this. I love this. In creating posthumous sculpture, I have found that those sculptures that have the most life are those that have a strong emotional connection brought on by the interaction and sharing by those who knew and loved the subject. Somehow, their energy and love is fused within the clay. It is very exciting. I can’t wait for the up and coming sitting. I’ll share that soon. In the meantime. I have a new friend. She is not on this earth, but I’m having a great time getting to know her, and watching the light in the eyes of her family as we bond.

Feel free to help to infuse this sculpture. Share your stories to help me bond with Norma. These stories, help me to connect to Norma. Your love and memories are transferred to the clay and bring Norma to life. The Zenteno family has set up a website to begin to receive donations for this sculpture. Thank you for being a part of the creative process.

Life is a magical adventure…
Throughout my life, each morning, I have purposely planted my foot into the intent of an adventure. Grant it, now that I have been doing this for so so long, my feet crack a bit more before the full movement, but my heart steps with the grand conviction that, over the years, has seeped into every one of my pores.

 

Today is the day, where I will accomplish one of the biggest steps in the treasure hunt that is my life. If there is a certain task set before me, I do it knowing that this one task is going to add to the others. It is like flipping the dial on the secret decoder ring that I coveted as a child. They all go together to become one grand clarification. I’m excited about meeting others as I truly feel that they have been sent, placed in my path to help me to find the rest of the secrets that are my treasure hunt. Or, I may be the secret giver in my rendezvous. I might not know what the secret is that I am supposed to share. It may be a word, an action, or just simply listening at the right time. My path of treasure huntings crosses another person. We are all looking for the magic that is a part of life. I’m honored to be a part of their journey.

 

If I wake up sick, I try not to be concerned as I might be fooled to think that this day is not a part of the great adventure. But I try to remember that when I am well, I will see the magic all the brighter because of the day that tries to shroud. Words and treasures may be harder to see and find, but they are in this day as well.
If there is an obstacle in my way, I try to examine it. Was this part of the magical journey, am I to go in another direction? Will the tools I use and the people I meet to get through this obstacle be a great part of the adventure and give the entire thing so much more meaning?

 

If I don’t meet anyone, I listen for the words. These are outward words or ones I hear in my thoughts. Many have forgotten the magic that is in the silence. They have missed the greatest tool to help them find their treasures. They don’t realize that there are magical creatures that wait between asleep and awake to help you with your journey.

 

I try to play often, as this will release those treasures very quick. It is a very important part of the magic. I am also trying hard to remember to stop the adultness and play with the grandchild. These little messengers, though little, hold great treasures to my journey. If I am busy, I will miss it.

 

I read, or listen to audio books that may be a part of that treasure hunt. When I hear a phrase, I wright it down in the hopes of remembering it, deciphering it and finding its place into the entire enterprise of magical days.

 

It is strange to think that others do not live this way. Some might say that I have a Pollyanna attitude or that I am not in touch with reality. Others might say that life is dismal and I am betraying it by my thoughts.

 

I think…
When you open your inbox expecting some miracle or adventure-every-day, when you search for the fascination and possibilities in each encounter, it makes life so much more fun. If others think I am bewitched, befuddled or betrayed, let them think so. However, you may find me looking on with amusement, as I take your words, turn the decoder ring and mark in my notebook for further clarification on this as part of my grand magical and wondrous adventure.