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
For IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2018
Up and Coming Sculptor Embraces The Lost Art of Mentorship:
Tiffany Carmouche Receives a One Year Mentorship Under Master Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon.
Many thirst after someone that can help move them forward in their dreams and desires. They yearn for a guide with experience and connections that can propel them into their dreams. It is true we can learn from our mistakes, but we also can learn from the mistakes of others. The heart and time of caring professionals are restoring the lost art of mentorship. Finding such guidance may feel like an impossible task, but Tiffany Carmouche found just that—a mentor that is invested in her success. Master Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon is the individual that will encourage Tiffany’s experiential learning, incite questions, encourage debates, and challenge her while providing intellectual and emotional stimulation and accountability. Bridgette does this through her Creative Endeavors Mentorship program.
Tiffany- a Maryland artist, has been accepted into the 2018 Bridgette Mongeon- Creative Endeavors Mentorship program. She has traveled the world working with the marginalized and has begun a blossoming career as a sculptor. “I have been sculpting for years. To me to sculpt is to breath. I love honoring life and perseverance in my pieces. My favorite mediums are clay and bronze and charcoal. To me, the creation of art is such a beautiful metaphor for life,” states Tiffany.
When asked what criteria Bridgette looks for in applicants Bridgette replied, “A heart for their dreams is at the center. One can teach principles of the arts or business, but passion is another thing entirely. I have been impressed with Tiffany’s tenacity, both in her new creative endeavors and those many accomplishments that she has made along the way. After many years, you come to know which applicants truly want it. But that is only part of a mentorship program. Mutual respect is an important element as well.”
Bridgette offered Tiffany a three-month mentorship program that can renew for up to one year. Bridgette, who has mentored sculptors, writers, musicians and small business owners says it is rare that she provides such an extended mentorship opportunity, but she feels that Tiffany has the desire, direction, talent and tenacity that can make a difference in her career.
“When I heard about the opportunity to work with Bridgette I couldn’t believe it. Being an artist is a constant evolution, and we must continue to grow and challenge ourselves to reach our full potential. I love the human form and doing realistic art. I want to create monumental sculptures in bronze, and one evening, I saw her work. Beautiful. I knew the goals I had set for myself were challenging and I needed someone who had created what I wanted to create. That relationship could save me years of growing pains. I called her to see if I could intern for her to learn to scale up my sculptures in the most efficient manner. She was so encouraging, and as soon as I learned of this mentorship, I applied. We had an instant rapport, and I was amazed at how much we had in common. We are both female sculptors, writers, and motivational speakers who love to dance the bachata. I Look forward to working with her and can’t wait to push myself. I know that I will grow in the business of art and as an artist, in ways I had never imagined.
WHAT IS A CREATIVE ENDEAVORS MENTORSHIP
At the heart of Bridgette’s creativity is the desire to give back and to inspire others on their creative journey. She does this through her books, lectures, and workshops, and also acts as a personal consultant for artists, writers, musicians and those entering a small business. But for her, the Creative Endeavors Mentorship program is unique. The one-on-one interactions between mentor and mentee are like having your own personal creative or business coach. Bridgette only accepts one or two mentees into the mentorship program a year.
She based the Creative Endeavors Mentorship program on the self-directed study that she received in her progressive education that she obtained with her Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College in Vermont. It is great to have physical access to your mentee, but in the age of technology, mentees can live anywhere, and mentor and mentee communicate through the phone, skype, mail, and the internet. Many mentees feel like there is no extra work involved in a mentorship program. They are merely documenting and having accountability for their dreams and goals while being given guidance and suggestions from a professional in the field.
However, the mentorship program is serious business. Mentees enter into a contract with the artist and are, required to do extra work. They must document their expected process by creating a Statement of Purpose for each three-month term. They are also responsible for sending monthly packets to their mentor to document their progress and work. At the culmination of a term, they are reviewing their progress. Bridgette has found that the extra work of documentation is essential. “I do this without pay, and the time I’m spending mentoring is time I could spend writing and sculpting. My time is precious. I need to know the other person is serious and disciplined enough to document their dreams and progress. Plus studies have shown that goals not written down are only wishes, writing down your expectations of yourself help you to meet those expectations.”
Bridgette would like to see others become mentors. “I’d love to see this mentorship program grow. I would be delighted if other individuals, that are seasoned in the arts, volunteered their time to mentor one other person. I can think of a hand full of colleges who would be great at this, but for the last several years, it is me mentoring one or two other people a year.”
If you are interested in applying for the mentorship program, you can find the application on Bridgette’s website. She will be review new applicants April- May 2018 and September-October 2018.
ABOUT BRIDGETTE MONGEON
Bridgette Mongeon is a master sculptor who has sculpted such entertainers as B. B King, Willie Nelson, Bill Monroe, numerous sculpture of children and monumental sculptures of school mascots. Her most recent works are the monumental sculpture of Alice In Wonderland’s Mad Hatter Tea Party complete with 150 hidden elements created in honor of the 150th anniversary of the story. Evelyn’s Park, in Bellaire Texas, is the home for “Move One Place On,” with a designated spring 2018 installation. She is also creating a sculpture of Neil Armstrong – a gift from Americans that will be placed outside of Moscow in Russia, and she is working on a sculpture of a beloved Latin Jazz Singer Norma Zenteno for Houston, Texas. Mongeon is known as one of 30 most influential women in 3D Printing and the author of “3D Technology In Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting, and Milling.” She is passionate about STEAM Education, an interdisciplinary education that combines Science, Technology Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM). As a speaker on motivational topics and subjects in the arts and business, she enjoys helping others achieve their goals. She is presently writing a book titled “The Zen of Business and Carving a Creative Life” which she hopes will help others to achieve success and happiness in their creative life, art, and business.
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
Today, after dealing with days of Harvey and surviving, then driving the dirt laden freeways down to the George R. Brown Convention Center to see what needed to be done, and then traveling side streets to the grocery store that is just yards away from the bayou that is no longer a threat and within its banks, I sat in my van and wept.
I wept for my elation for being safe. Though there are still those in other parts of Houston, who are being rescued. I wept for seeing all I saw today and how so many people were helping so many other people. I wept in gratitude; I wept from what might be exhaustion. I wept because I survived and that I lost nothing and so many others have and will. I wept because I’m taking my wine and my shrimp home and sitting in my house and eating and drinking that tonight. I wept because I will bring bags of freezer items home that I will place them in my freezer after I take out the many blocks of ice I made before the storm. I wept as I remembered the dazed look on the women still in her pj’s who just got to the GRB and kept saying, “My ceiling caved in, my ceiling caved in, it is all gone.” as her very mature ten-year-old son held her one 1/2-year-old. I directed her to the blankets and clothing, took her name in case I can find a place for her to go. Maybe I wept for her.
Is this survivors remorse? I don’t think it is technically survivors remorse, as that definition means I feel guilty for being alive. I don’t feel guilty for being alive; My heart is overflowing with gratitude.
I feel like I’m in a fog, kind of like I did when my mom died, and I would look at people differently. I would look at someone and think, you could have died, we could have died. You have your home; you are in a grocery store buying food from shelves, and not waiting in life at a rescue center. These are such opposites my brain can’t adjust; it can’t take it all in. I’m watching strangers greet each other with things like, “Is your home livable?” and “Did you lose everything?” There is not one person in this city who has not either lost their home or had a close friend or family member who has lost their home. Most will recover, some homes are a total loss. Most people are smiling- if they are not still in shock.
“Is your home livable?”
Our city and individuals are wounded. We are all in a daze and shock, and it is not over. I can’t believe I came home to turn on the news and hear about missiles and to learn we are now waiting for a chemical plant to blow up in Crosby, Texas. Yes, it will blow up, it is just a matter of time, and they have no idea what that will do to our air quality. I can’t comprehend this. Maybe I will have to leave my home. I may have survived the rain, winds, and flood, but not a chemical explosion with compromised air. Survival continues, don’t let your guard down yet. Maybe I’ll save the wine and celebrate another night.
I have been working on creating some new pages to my web site. The newsboy gallery can be found by clicking on the Newsboy category
And I have uploaded pictures of the newsboy placed in Austin. There are no pictures of the number two in the edition, as my client has not given it to his father yet.
I have been sending out press releases about creating the newspaper to match newspapers in history. I’m hoping to sell out the edition of the newsboy, there are eight left, and creating newspapers throughout history. I really would like to see one of these in Buffalo, N.Y. and also one in Washington.
The press release follows.
Newspaper Headlines Through History are Being Carved in Bronze.
Is it not interesting to think about which newspaper headlines stand out in the history of our country? What newspaper headline would stand out in the publication of your own newspaper?
In 2005 Texas based sculptor Bridgette Mongeon was commissioned by the Texas Press Association, to capture an important time in newspaper history—the age of newsboys. You can almost hear the cries of, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it…” from the mouth of the bronze newsboy who is caught in full stride as he hawks his newspapers on the street corner. The artwork, originally created for the Texas State Capitol building, presently resides outside the offices of the Texas Press Association in Austin, Texas. A table-top bronze of the Newsboy was also created as a limited edition art for home or office.
In January of 2007, Ms. Mongeon was contacted by a client wanting to know if the life-size bronze newsboy was part of a limited edition, and if it was available for purchase as a gift for his father, a former newspaper publisher. He inquired if the newspaper that the Newsboy was selling could be recreated to resemble his father’s newspaper capturing the year they were awarded the Pulitzer Prize. The artist created a bronze Newsboy to the client’s specifications, and it became number two of this edition of ten. It will soon be presented to his father. The story of the Pulitzer Prize winning paper is intriguing, but cannot be revealed until after the surprise bronze is presented.
The idea of carving and capturing history in bronze so intrigued Ms. Mongeon that she is committing to do the same thing for the remaining editions of the bronze Newsboys and is presently seeking newspapers and placement for the remaining eight life-size bronze sculptures.
Upon request, the new masthead and headline are painstakingly carved into the front of each paper. There are several papers in the sculpture that need to be changed, there is a newspaper the Newsboy holds, several under his arm, and a stack at his feet. The back of the newspaper remains the same, a subhead line that reads, “In Memory of Skinny and Others.” This was created from a historical article that the artist read about how newsboys would take out an ad in the paper if one of their own died. It is the artist’s way of posthumously recognizing the contribution of the newsboys.
When the artist is asked if there is a specific newspaper in history or place that she would like to see one of the bronzes installed she replied, “I live in Texas but was born in Buffalo, New York. I would love to see a Newsboy placed in my hometown, and if I could pick the place, I would love to see one near the Albright Knox Art Gallery. To have one in Washington D.C. would also be great.” The Newsboy is not Mongeon’s only newspaper related art sculpture. She was also commissioned by the Houston Chronicle to create a small sculpture of Jesse Jones that is given as The Jesse Award to outstanding individuals at the Houston Chronicle.
A writer as well as a sculptor Ms. Mongeon has a heart for journalism and communication and has created an online journal of the entire eight-month process of creating the life-size bronze Newsboy and small Newsboy collectible. The journal extends from research to casting and placement of each of the pieces in the edition. She has added an educational section to help students and teachers learn and teach about art, journalism, history and even politics, all relating to the bronze Newsboy. The journal is rich in online resources for further education. The sculptor expresses a desire to be involved in the education of the children in each area that the Newsboy is placed. “The Newsboy is not only a symbol for the newspaper industry, it is a symbol of the strength of children. These newsboys and girls changed history with their newspaper strike of 1899, which affected the child labor laws. Just because you are small doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference, and this is an important concept for children to learn,” state Ms. Mongeon.
The Newsboy journal can be found at the artists’ web site located at www.creativesculpture.com. If you are interested in one of the remaining editions of the Newsboy and have a headline to match, Ms. Mongeon would love to hear from you and can be reached at her contact form. Then together the publisher and artist will carve history in bronze.
This article/press release can be used word for word. If you would like to interview the artist or require more information for a story please contact the artist.