The links to Bridgette’s social media are on the side bar of this blog or if you are on your phone they will be at the bottom of the page. But for convenience the links are also in this post. Come follow us and keep abreast of what is happening in Wonderland.
If you get a chance go to Yelp. Upload pictures of you and your family at the sculpture. Take selfies, have a great time, be creative and then write a review of your opinions of the Houston landmark.
I put together this video last night to show the story behind the Mad Hatter Character. Can’t wait to share more.
On the day of the opening of the sculpture April 21st Bridgette Mongeon was notified that she has been nominated as a “Woman that serves the Texas -gulf-coast community with grace and fortitude” by the Texas Tea Affair. Then she received the email below. There is an invite to the tea and take note, there is a discount on tickets for her guests. In light of that, she posts this here asking, “Does anyone want to come to a tea?”
She has been told all nominees are recognized at the tea. What a fun event to have at the park with a celebration of Bridgette’s Mad Hatter Tea Party sculpture “Move One Place On.”
Dear Mrs. Mongeon, The 14th Annual Texas Tea Affair will be held on Sunday, May 6th, 2018 at Evelyn’s Park.
Congratulations on being selected as a recipient of the 2018 Community TEA award, honoring women that have served the Texas gulf-coast community with the grace and fortitude that TEA reflects.
You have shown true leadership, having:
- Delivered real business impact or community outreach
There is no doubt that the new sculpture “Move One Place On” has created a community impact.
- Used self-belief to rise above adversity and reach their goals
Many do not know the hardships that have taken place over the last few years for Bridgette Mongeon both in business and in life. From the loss of her daughter’s home to a house fire in February 2017 to the insolvency of a vendor on the project in April 2017. The family is still waiting to move into their home from the fire, and the insolvency left more than a trickle-down effect for the artist. She described it as more of a deluge. Though the trials have been difficult ones, Bridgette claims it has made her into a stronger person, a better businesswoman with a stronger belief in herself. She has learned to, evaluate a situation from the worst possible scenario, embrace the difficulty with much prayer and use it as a learning experience to become a better person and grow in business. “When you come so close to losing your loved ones, it really does put the rest of life into perspective,” the artist declares. As a writer, she is working on sharing her tools of rising above the difficulties in a new book titled “The Zen of Business and Carving a Creative Life.”She states, “If I can help just one person get through their experiences, it is worth it.”
- A veteran in your field, displaying sound management and acumen
With over 30 years of experience as a businesswoman, writer sculptor and mentor it is easy to see how this criterion fits the artist.
- Mentored and inspired others striving for success
This Bridgette has in spades, or should we say “hearts.” She has strived to make the sculpture “Move One Place On” more than just a great piece of art to look at, but she has strived to create an interactive experience. Through the 150 hidden objects and the sculpture she does something that is dear to her heart, She encourages literacy. By exploring the digital technology and Encouraging STEAM ( Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education through the art, she brings the art further in encouragement for others. She is providing and working on free tools, videos and other future learning resources that she offers schools, parents, and libraries. She uses her knowledge combined with her desire to inspire and educate. She does all of this on her own time, without expecting a reward. To subtly encourage learning in others, while having fun is her goal. Even the creation of the art is completed with the use of paid interns in her studio. Emerging artists who not only have ownership in a piece and an installation but a tremendous learning experience and memories to share behind the “curious adventure.”
Awards will be given at the 2018 Texas Tea Affair on May 6th in Bellaire, Texas (610/Bellaire Blvd). A complimentary ticket will be reserved for you. Honoree tables may be decorated by your staff/party to celebrate the day (see below) and discount $49 tickets are available for your guests. This unique afternoon tea benefits the WestburyCARE Shelter offering support to unwanted pets in southwest Houston. Each year, the Tea Affair provides an afternoon of fun, fashion, food, fellowship, invigorating speakers, tea and ornamented, themed tables to the Greater Houston community while celebrating leaders in our community.
The 2018 class (nominated online by their peers):
Bridgette Mongeon- Houston bronze sculpture artist
Rose Ann Cook- Owner, Quilters Emporium
Chef Kiran Verma- Owner, Kiran’s Restaurant
Delsie Stoute- Director, Precinct One Senior Programs
Donna Cole- CEO, Cole Energy
We encourage guests to wear hats and fascinators to the tea. The afternoon will include a full lunch, scones, desserts, exotic teas, tea cup exchange and vendor market. In deep appreciation for your service, we look forward to this years garden party and encourage your attendance.
Top praises for continuing to give back and serve humbly,
If any of Bridgette’s friends wants to be table hostess and decorate their table, the following has been provided.
TEAinTEXAS presents 2018 TEXAS TEA AFFAIR The 14th Annual Event Honoring Local Women Leaders TEXASTEATRAVEL.com Facebook.com/texasteaaffair
You may use a theme for your table.
Hobbies, reading and gardens make wonderful tablescapes.
Overall 2018 party theme at the affair is the 1940’s era.
Provided by Table Hostess
8 party favors for guests
8 place cards (if your table has open seating, a guest list will be provided by June 5th)
1 centerpiece 2 teapots Name your Table
A brief summary of your table inspiration. (2-3 sentences for event program)
Optional- Table decorations such as props, ornaments, frames, etc. (Please keep decorations below 2 ft high.)
Optional- Teapot warmers or cozies
8 napkin rings 8 placemats or doilies
Kindly do not decorate chairs.
1 creamer Provided by Venue
8 dinner plates 8 water glasses
8 sets of flatware (forks, knives & spoons)
8 napkins and 1 tablecloth (white)
1 sugar/sweetener container 1 lemon plate Menu/program at each seat
Provided by Guests Each guest brings their own tea cup to exchange. Contact Penny Ward – Table Coordinator for any questions firstname.lastname@example.org TABLE DECOR
Mad Hatter Tea Party Sculpture
WEIGHT: The sculpture weighs approximately 6,000 lbs.
SCULPTOR: Bridgette Mongeon lives in Houston Tx. Her studio is near the Heights.
TITLE: MOVE ONE PLACE ON Move One Place On is what the Hatter says in chapter seven. The artist encourages visitors, when the table is full with guests, to stand up and shout “I want a clean cup, Move One Place On,” and everyone will change places. It’s a good way to get into Alice’s seat.
HIDDEN OBJECTS: There are 150 hidden objects in the scene. Be sure to look behind the book pedestal and under the table. There are 60 things under the dining table alone. The 150 are hidden in honor of the 150th anniversary of the story of Alice In Wonderland. There is no master list of the 150. This is on purpose. The artist wants you to “be curious”, and read the stories by Lewis Carroll. She hopes to promote literacy and encourage exploration. What can you find? She will begin to reveal the 150 hidden things in rhyme and riddle from her social network. Bridgette Mongeon on Instagram, Sculptorwriter on Twitter. You can find all social media links at www.alicesculpture.com The artists is now making collectibles of some of the hidden 150. These are for sale.
DETECTIVE BOOKS:Families can download a free printable detective book so they can follow along with the artist and record their findings. For each item, you must know: 1. What is it? 2. Where is it in the sculpture? 3. Where is it in the story? 4. What significance is it to the author, original illustrator or the sculptor?
MATERIAL: The sculpture is bronze, made in the lost wax method of bronze casting. Bridgette’s book 3D Technology In Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting, and Milling describes this process, and is available on Amazon as well as at this event.
HOW WAS IT CREATED? The artist based the work off of the original Lewis Carroll stories and John Tenniel illustrations. She uses both traditional sculpting and digital technology. She demonstrates some of the process in her book. Alice and her friends got big and small not with elixirs and mushrooms, but in Bridgette’s studio they did this with digital technology. Video and process writings can be found at alicesculpture.com and FindingAliceSculpture on Facebook. The artists will add educational material focusing on literature and (STEAM) Science, Technology Engineering Art and Math, for parents, schools an libraries.
DID YOU KNOW? It does not matter where you sit at the table, a character will interact with you. This was done on purpose. The scene is not complete until the table is full.
IS THIS A ONE OF A KIND? Yes, it is a one of a kind, permanent installation, however the artists will be making a table top bronze versions. These will be available for purchase. Inquire at www.alicesculpture.com
WHO COMMISSIONED THIS? The Rubenstein purchased this land that was once Teas Nursery and gave it to the city of Bellaire. They reserved a portion of it for a memorial garden to honor their mother, Evelyn. Alice and her friends are placed in Evelyn’s Memorial Garden.
WHO CAME UP WITH THE IDEA? The artist began to create several design ideas when she heard a sculpture might be needed for the park. The client originally wanted Evelyn in the park. Bridgette was already working on a sculpture of Evelyn for the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center. The landscape designers suggested the Rubensteins see the Alice In Wonderland sculpture in Central Park and they brought pictures back to show Bridgette. When she discovered the Alice In Wonderland was in the public domain, she put together sketches and presented them to the family.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE? ´ It took nearly six years to complete, but the first three years Bridgette worked while she waited for the client to commit. ´ The contract with the park was signed in 2015 just a week after the 150 anniversary of the story of Alice in Wonderland. ´ Bridgette completed the sculpture in stages and sent it to the foundry for casting in bronze. The last of the molds left her studio in November 2016. What you see in the park, the artist and her interns sculpted feverishly for a year and a half to create. ´ The sculpture was originally being cast at Shidoni Foundry in NM but was moved in April 2017 to Deep in The Heart Art Foundry (DITH) in Bastrop, TX. ´ DITH delivered the sculpture on a flatbed truck uncovered. It came down I-10 during rush hour traffic, April 9th, 2018.
DID THE ARTIST HAVE HELP? Bridgette uses interns in her studio all of the time. They work in various capacities, and most are paid. There were many people who had a hand in helping with this project from artists, models for reference, armature builders, 3D scanners, photographers, mold makers, and more. Some stayed for the entire project, some only came for a day. The www.alicesculpture web site will have information on some who participated. Assistant-Caroline May, Lead Intern-Allison Gonzalez. Others- Riane Belgau, Austin Bernard, Becky Burkett, Paóla Isabel Chavez, Mark Eberly, Kate Furgason, Ainsley Furgason, Johannes Huber, Jeremy Jap, Gabby Martinez, David Morris, Vicki Parker, Johnny Rojas, George Russell, Shirley Scarpetta, Jacob Simms, Bill, Christina and Issa Sizemore, Kaijah Ward, Catrina Williams. Thank you all.
ANOTHER WONDERLAND CHARACTER? Some neighbors have expressed an interest in having one more sculpture placed on the Bellaire median or a neighboring yard. The sculpture would be of a large White Rabbit with his watch, running down Bellaire. You can imagine him shouting, “I’M LATE,” as he points in this directions and runs to this marvelous tea party. Anyone know someone interested in backing such a project?
COMPANIES TO THANK: Thanks to the Interactive Copier for 3D printing buttons and Bridgette’s mom’s antique teacups for the table. Thank you to Party Boyfor providing costumes for the Mad hatter to use as a reference, Nicholas Bocci and Smart Geometrics for 3D scanning, and Dunagroup for donating foam for the table and pedestal. Synappsys Digital Services and Across the Board created the computer numerically controlled milling of the figures. Carvewright created the CNC of the Mad Hatter’s chair.
Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon wants her sculpture “Move One Place On” to be more than just a nice piece of art for which one can enjoy. She wants the art to be interactive and educational. “Move One Place On,” has become a tool for Bridgette to use in educating other in such things as literature and history, but more than that it is also a tool for STEAM education. She was the keynote speaker at the Texas Art Educators Conference on the topic of STEAM education in the studio and in Wonderland STEAM education is the interdisciplinary use of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.
Bridgette has spoken to young students on Math and Science as it pertains to the sculptures in her studio and Wonderland., and offered some free materials for parents, libraries and students. She will be developing more free online material and hopes to create a collective list for other parents, teachers librarians, and homeschoolers to use. And of course her book 3D Technology In Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting and Milling talks about the processes Bridgette used in her studio to create art. She used the same processes to create “Move One Place On” and is completing a book on this.
If you know of any material or books for any age that you think should be on this list or that others might be willing to share, please contact the artist.
Let’s use this art and curious adventure to create educational opportunities for all.
Now that the sculpture is installed, media week/month begins. Here are a few pieces of recent coverage as well as some personal Facebook live videos from both the artist and the hosts. Media week/Month continues. The sculpture is not only an incredible piece of art to look at; but it is also an educational tool that encourages literacy and with the artists help the art supports the education of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. You will soon see more segments. And because the artwork and artists have a broader outreach such as STEM AND STEAM education and the marriage of art and technology the reach is wider than local. She uses the same mix of art and tech as in her book 3D Technology In Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting and Millingand she is not done. Wait until you see what else is down this rabbit hole.
CW39- Posted April 14th
Mongeon reports that working with CW 39 was special because her granddaughter woke up very early and participated. Later they put up all of the live segments for others to see. Alice in Wonderland Tea Party life-size sculpture in Evelyn’s Park Conservancy Maggie in the morning did a live Facebook in between takes. The sculptor Bridgette Mongeon turned the tables and interviewed Maggie on Facebook live.
NBC affiliate KPRC- April 10, 2018
KHOU came out and created a segment
“Alice in Wonderland’ tea party sculpture installed at Evelyn’s Park in Bellaire”
CBS Affiliate KHOU – April 10, 2018
KHOU came out and created several segments for the morning news. The only one saved and put up on the internet is“Life After Harvey: New sculptures installed in Bellaire Park” While waiting between segments the artist did a live Facebook interview with Sherry Williams, though it was so dark the video quality leaves something to be desired.
Fox April 9- 2018 FOX Bayou City Buzz – Evelyn’s Park
The News Edge Reporter CoCo Dominguez created a wonderful segment showing lots of video of the installed art.
Houston Chronicle – April 17, 2018 Park Debuts Sculpture, Celebrates first year
The Buzz Magazines – April 16, 2018 Tea Time in the Park Alice in Wonderland at Evelyn’s Park
Houstonia Magazine– April 6 2018 An Interactive Alice In Wonderland Sculpture Arrives at Evelyn’s Park
The Buzz Magazine—Feb 2017 Taking Time To Read
Video Media often meets early like 5:00 a.m. early. There is sometimes a lot of waiting and This something happened in the aritsts studio when the main figures were complete. in April of 2016 before they were sent off to the foundry Much thanks goes out to Erin Woosley of On the Mark Communications who has done such a great job in securing media on the project.
This was not the only media week. The media attention started when the project started. Take a look at some previous promotion of the project. Some from as far away as Italy.
Houston PBS—April 2016 Arts Insights.
CW 39 Street Stories—Feb 2016 Houston artist creates a wonderland of sculptures
KHOU—Feb 2016 Alice in Wonderland Coming to Evelyn’s Park
ABC 13- Houston—Feb 2016 Houston City Parks “Hidden Gems”: Inside Some Must-See Green Spaces.
Local Houston—Aug 2016 Down the Rabbit Hole Evelyn’s Park Sculpture Brings a Classic to Life.
Leader—July 13 Leader area sculptor goes down the rabbit hole
Houston Chronicle—March 2016 Whimsical Sculptures Make Evelyn’s Park Home
The Buzz Magazine—March 2016- Evelyn’s Park Updates: Foundation, Naming Contest and Sculpture
Houston Chronicle—July 2015 New sculpture for Evelyn’s Park will bring ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to life.
Jewish Herald Voice—July 2015 Right out of Alice in Wonderland
Culture Map–July 2015 Down the rabbit hole: Evelyn’s Park goes mad for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
Glasstire—July 2015 The Boston Tea Party or the ad Hatter Tea Party
3D Printing Industry—July 2015 3D Technology is a Trip Down the Rabbit Hole for Artist Bridgette Mongeon
On Thursday April 12, the park had a private unveiling of the sculpture and a dedication. The Rubenstein family, park donors and the artist were invited. Everyone was so pleased with the artwork. As Bo Rubenstein said to the artist, “You went over and above what anyone expected.”
It was an unusually cold and rainy day for the installation of Alice and her friends in Evelyn’s Park. A flatbed truck carrying the characters on an open bed trailer drove down the I-10 freeway during rush hour traffic. I’m sure a few heads turned. The entire scene weighs in at 6,000 pounds.
Police blocked off one westbound lane on the busy road of Bellaire Boulevard. A crane which was late, I hear they had it on their schedule for the following day, finally arrived and parked on the gravel road in the park where many of the food trucks park during events.
It was quite a site to see the long crane arm move over the park, pick up a 9 foot March Hare and watch him fly through the sky to his final resting place in Evelyn’s Memorial Garden. Each piece made this same flight.
The positioning of each of the characters is very important to the design. Bridgette Mongeon created each character so that they are looking at an empty space. In other words, the scene is not complete until people are at the scene and interacting with the characters. The artist worked with Deep In the Heart Art Foundry both in Bastrop and on site to make the installation perfect.
The crew from Deep in The Heart Art Foundry, the artist and the crane operators worked long hours. The installation began at 8:00 a.m. and finished up nearly 12 hours later.
Alice, her chair and the Cheshire cat are one piece. The table top and base is a second piece. There are two small benches that are on each side of the March Hare, The march Hare and his stump are a piece on their own. The Mad Hatter and his chair are one piece. There is one long bench in the front of the table, and then the book/dedication pedestal sits off to the side. That means eight major pieces needed to be installed.
Each of the pieces has stainless steel footings. Once each piece is placed, installation begins. The workers drill the concrete and then secure the threaded rod in each hole. Later the nuts will be welded onto the threaded rods.
Each of the pieces float in the area. The park plans on coming in and putting bark mulch fill with gravel under the mulch for drainage. The rest of the park has a crushed pea gravel, much to Bridgette’s dismay. This sand type component gets into the shoes of children who track it onto the sculpture. It also blows from the surrounding areas and lands on the art. This material may act like sandpaper and is a good way to scratch the surface of the art.
The welded rods used as support are taken off of the Mad Hatter’s arms. Each piece is ground smooth. Last but not least, the sploosh that comes from the Mad Hatter’s teapot must be welded to the table. The foundry welds this in place and then finishes the patina or the color to match the rest of the scene.
The only thing left is to clean off the sculpture and give it a good polish. The park screens off the sculpture and Bridgette brings a team of artists, along with gathering anyone in the park that wants to help, and together they buff out the sculpture to make it shine.
With a little maintenance of cleaning yearly and waxing the sculpture it will last a long time. The patina may darken a bit, but the work of art, now installed, will last for generations to come.
( There are some live videos of the installation on Finding Alice Sculpture on Facebook. Video Number 1, Number 2 Number 3, Number 4, and a friend says ajewish Blessing over the sculpture installation. )
150 Years ago Alice fell down a rabbit hole that sent her on a very curious adventures. Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon has been on her own journey in a rabbit hole. Hers began with concept sketches six years ago, when she was creating a sculpture of Evelyn Rubenstein for the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish community center in Houston, Texas and heard that there might be another sculpture needed for Evelyn’s Park. The Rubensteins would place the sculpture in a special memorial garden to honor Evelyn Rubenstein. They visited the famous Alice sculpture in Central Park. Jose De Creft created that Wonderland theme. George Delacorte commissioned the sculpture, and it was unveiled in 1959. The Rubensteins brought pictures to the artist. The spark of inspiration was ignited for Mongeon’s sculpture titled “Move One Place On.”
The sculpture consists of a ten-foot table with a dormouse shoved in a tea pot, just as in the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Three benches offers seating for guests, and one has a chess board in it so, be sure to bring your chest set. A nine-foot Mad Hatter flanks the 24-foot long sculpture on the left. He pushes out of his chair which is complete with arms in the shape of a lion and unicorn and feet of the chair like flamingos. The seat is unbalanced and toppling over as the Hatter stands up, gesturing to the end of the table and pouring tea. The March Hare sits on a stump at the center of the table talking to the guests to his right while dipping a watch in his tea. Alice watches on from a large overstuffed chair. The Cheshire Cat sports a “curious” beatnik look an rests on top of Alice’s chair. There is plenty of room for guests in the the coveted seat next to Alice. The artist created the sculpture so that each character interacts with an empty place, in other words, the scene is not complete until you are there.
If feasting at the table and visiting with fanciful creatures is not intriguing enough Mongeon has hidden 150 things in the sculpture in honor of the 150th anniversary of the endearing story. The treasure hunt begins at the dedication plaque shaped as a storybook, balanced on a tree trunk. There is a small stump for children to step up and touch the mouse that rests on a leaf as parents read the dedication. Look at the top of the storybook and you will see the feet of a small white rabbit jumping down a hole at the top of the book. Walk around the stump, and you will see a cut away from the hole where another very small Alice is falling. This dedication plaque begins the search for the 150 hidden things.
Many have asked if there is a master list of the 150 hidden things? Only in the artists head. She will begin to reveal the hidden things through riddle and rhyme in a book and online at alicesculpture.com, the findingalicesculpture Facebook page and Instagram. She has provided a free detective notebook for families and individuals who might like to document the 150 hidden items. You can find a link to the notebook and other free printables at www.alicesculpture.com.
An avid reader Mongeon hopes that the scene will encourage literacy, but the educational element has gone way beyond that. The creation of “Move One Place On” was a chance to educate children and adults in STEAM. STEAM is an educational initiative that focuses on Science, Technology Engineering, Art, and Math. Mongeon, Alice, and her friends have helped to present STEAM in Wonderland to adults and children at the Bellaire Library, and at Young Women in Math and Science. Mongeon also presented it at 3D Printing World Expo, the Lewis Carroll 150th anniversary celebration, and last November art teachers all over Texas were introduced to STEAM in Wonderland at the Texas Art Educators conference where Mongeon was the keynote speaker. Mongeon is excited about creating more educational opportunities and is presently working on free curriculum for schools and homeschoolers. She thinks the author Charles Dodgson AKA Lewis Carroll, would approve. After all Dodgson was a mathematician.
The sculpture has been completed by Deep in The Heart Art Foundry in Bastrop, Texas and installation is planned for early April. In March Mongeon traveled to Deep in the Heart for a metal check and to direct patina on the metal sculpture that weights in near 6,000 lbs. Now that the foundry has the artist’s approval, it will travel through Texas on an open bed trailer from Bastrop to Bellaire and Alice and her friends will have their final resting place in Evelyn’s memorial garden in Evelyn’s Park. Keep an eye out for Alice and the gang. You just might see them coming down the I-10 freeway.
While at Deep In The Heart art foundry open house the artist visited the sculpture with her five-year-old granddaughter Issa Sizemore. The artist created the artwork in pieces and sent it to the foundry to expedite the process. Even though she created it she had never seen the entire scene altogether. Issa has watched the sculpture take shape and grew up with the design. At the open house, Issa acted as a tour guide climbing all over the sculpture and sharing the secrets of the hidden items. Guests will spend more time under the table than on top of it as the artist says there are approximately 60 things hidden under the table, including many doors to magical places.
Bellaire and Houston will now have one of the most coveted dining experiences in Texas. The curious adventure created with Mongeon’s work “Move One Place On ” will continue to intrigue and delight people of all ages.
Dedication is scheduled for April 21, 11-4
4400 Bellaire Boulevard
Bellaire, Texas 77401