Houston’s New Booker T. Washington Sculpture

The bronze statue of Booker T Washington faces Yale street on the HISD campus in Independent Heights.

A school in Houston Independent School District recently received a historical bronze sculpture, a testament to our community’s rich history and shared pride. Houston Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon, known for her Alice in Wonderland Sculpture in Evelyn’s Park, also has a trend of creating school mascots. Her collection includes the Grambling Tiger at Grambling University, the Prairie View Panther at Prairie View A&M, and a new sculpture of Carlson Tough at Tough Elementary for Conroe ISD, which she installed last December.

On May 18th, 2024, amidst the cleanup from the Houston storm, Mongeon added one more school sculpture to her list. This time, she celebrates in her neighborhood with the unveiling of “THE VISION” Community Statue Project featuring Booker T. Washington. Houston ISD states, “This sculpture is the third statue of an African American in the City of Houston, after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and former U.S. Rep. George Thomas “Mickey” Leland, and the first in the historically black neighborhood of Independence Heights.”

Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon installs Booker T Washington sculpture.

This eight-year project not only memorializes one of the most outstanding educators in African American history but also symbolizes the future of education. It is more than just a statue; it is a new park with a rocket and a wind turbine that provides electricity to the park, both of which are a part of the educational collaboration of the students at the first magnet school in Houston—Booker T. Washington High School and The School for Engineering Professions. This collaboration, with its STEAM focus, inspires us about the future of education and its impact on our community. 

Mongeon fits right into this project as she has a heart for education, especially STEAM education. STEAM is an interdisciplinary education focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. She uses these in her art studio and even wrote a book about her work and those creating using STEAM worldwide. The book is titled “3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting and Milling.” She donated a copy of the book to the Booker T. Washington school library. 

The unveiling celebration was a momentous occasion, made even more special by the presence of esteemed alums. The two oldest living graduates, Dr F.N. Williams, Sr., class of 1945, and Charlotte Kelly Bryant, Class of 1948, were given the honor of pulling the golden rope of the blue satin cover to reveal the statue.

This life-size-and-a-half bronze sculpture of a seated Booker T. Washington, legs crossed, sits dignified on a bronze period chair. His head raised, you expect him to begin speaking as his hand rests on his biography. The sculpture sits atop a tiered concrete plinth and large granite. The inscription on the bronze plaque attached to the dark grey granite displays a famous quote by Booker T Washington, “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” 

A smaller plaque in front of the plinth reads, “Success always leaves footprints.” Another quote by Booker T. Washington. “Our most profound appreciation to all those whose footprints walked along with ours on this journey, especially:

The honorable Senfronia Thompson, BTW Class of 1957, The Honorable Sylvester Turner, The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee, The honorable John Whitmire, and the Honorable Jarvis Johnson.”

Many notables were in attendance, and though Mayor Whitmire was busy tending to the city and all its needs, after the storm, he was there in spirit and attended the private viewing of the clay in the artist’s studio last year. 

Mayor Whitmire and Booker T Washington
The mayor came to the artists studio when the sculpture was in clay.

“This was a special project for me,” states the artist.  “It is my neighborhood and so close that if I leave the doors of my studio open, I can hear the band play while I work.”  

The sculpture, a symbol of the school’s rich history, now faces Yale Street on the fenced school property in Independence Heights. It is a center point to new amphitheater seating, where future generations will gather to learn and celebrate.

For more information about this press release or to receive permission from HISD to film on the property contact Jessica Brown or Bridgette Mongeon at 713-540-3201 or through email.

Educational Empowerment and Booker T. Washington

Booker T Washington Sculpture for Sale - In Progress

Booker T Washington, a true pioneer in education, took the reins of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in 1881. His focus on combining trades and academics was revolutionary for the time. The students even participated in the construction of the school, making education an interdisciplinary process. This learning style is a model that our schools today could greatly benefit from, as demonstrated by the innovative approach of Booker T. Washington High School and The High School for Engineering Professions. This Houston school focuses on STEAM/STEM education with an interdisciplinary approach that uses science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Created in 1974, The High School for Engineering Professions, located on the campus, was one of the city’s first magnet programs.

Imagine presenting education to a student in a subject that genuinely excites them. In this scenario, learning becomes a joyous journey, and school transforms into a place of fun and exploration. This is the transformative power of magnet school programs, a concept that has revolutionized the way we approach education. It offers a promising future for our students, where learning is not a chore but a source of joy and discovery.

The principal of the Booker T Washington School is Dr. Phillips. His philosophy is “to believe in the abundant opportunities that await each child that he comes in contact with daily and promote each child’s confidence level, morale, and academic abilities so that they can be equipped with the fundamental skills of basic intelligence, character, perseverance, and vigor. These essential skills are vital to help develop future men and women who will also contribute the same or greater service through their community living by collaboratively working with one another with genuine effort to continue to protect and enrich the lives of our most precious gems; our children.”

When Booker T Washington High School decided to create the space and a place to have a monumental sculpture of Booker T Washington placed on the campus property, there was much anticipation, excitement, and honor. Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon appreciated the subject and what he stands for in the scope of education. This monumental sculpture of Booker T Washington, a great man in the history of education, holds a significant place on this school campus, symbolizing the school’s unwavering commitment to his educational principles and its rich educational heritage, ensuring the continuity of his legacy.

Booker T Washington sculpture is a great addition to any campus.

Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon and her team hope to share the excitement and inspiration of Booker T. Washington further. The bronze sculpture is a limited edition of ten. The artist is now searching for other locations to place this great legend. They offer the opportunity for others to enrich their school, park, or company with this iconic figure.

A Family of Speakers

Three generations of writers and speakers.

Speaker Sheet- Three Generations of Writers

There are a lot of exciting things happening in my life. One big one is in this post.  Somehow, this year, the lives of my daughter, granddaughter, and myself have converged, and we have all published books and are doing speaking gigs together.  The venues range from conferences, women’s groups to literary evenings. Chris and I also love doing workshops. Here is a bit about the three of us and our specialties.

If you are interested in having us come to your school fair, women’s group, convention, let us know what mix of speakers you would like. Be a part of a special event where three generations of female writers, who are passionate about creativity, outdoor activities, and Texas State Parks, come together. We value your input. Let us know if you’d like us to mix and match our presentations or if you prefer us to present as a family. Have one come or all three.

Bridgette Mongeon

Mom and Grandma

Bridgette is a well-known master sculptor, writer, and speaker. She is also the admin and creator of Houston Women’s Hiking, an outdoor group that inspires and encourages women, with over 17,000 women strong. When she is not creating, she is in the woods. Bridgette has a new memoir coming out in Fall of 2024 titled “One Foot In Front Of The Other: Art, Hiking, and Healing” Publisher—Market Creativity. She also contributes to Issa’s book “See You In the Woods: Fun Adventures for Kids,”  as well as the author of “3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting, and Milling,” Publisher—Elsevier. For a complete list of publications, visit her website. There are numerous podcasts, television coverage and other media featuring Bridgette that are also listed on her website. Also Follow her on Instagram @Bridgette Mongeon.

Topics: Sculpting, Marketing in the Arts, Creativity, Sculpting the deceased, Outdoors, Houston Women’s Hiking, Emotional health, STEAM and STEM education, Empowering Women, Lewis Carroll and Alice In Wonderland, Emotional Health for Children.

Christina (Chris) Sizemore

Daughter & Mother

Chris is a writer, marketing guru and designer. She owns and operates Market Creativity, a marketing agency specializing in branding and brand communication. She is the writer and creator of Texas State Parks Journal: An Interactive Record of Your Journey Through Texas State Parks and Hiking Journal: Track How Far You’ve Come.

Chris is an ambassador for our Texas State Parks and all outdoor spaces. She enjoys encouraging others to preserve our beautiful world and loves to talk about the influence of women on nature and our Texas State Park.  Christina is the coadmin of Houston Women’s Hiking. When she is not outdoors, she works creatively through her marketing company. She and her family are a Kids Who Explore Explor Family and she is an executive team member of Houston Moms.

Inspiring others into emotional health is also a part of her journey. She writes about these topics and more on her blog www.StrogerThanFire.com and her podcast Stronger Than. You can find her on Instagram at @StrongerThanFire.

She was also cohost of Inspirations Generation Podcast with her mom and grandmother 2012-2018.

Topics: Outdoors, Marketing, Emotional health, Women in conservation and state parks

Issa Sizemore

Daughter & Granddaughter

Author of the up-and-coming book See You In the Woods: Fun Adventures for Kids, which she completed in 2023 at the age of 10 and is currently being illustrated by her mom Chris. Issa has been working on her book for three years with her grandma, Bridgette Mongeon, as part of her home-schooling. She is a science nerd and hopes to be a marine biologist when she grows up. Her family has a goal to camp in all 89 Texas State Parks. On her family camping adventures, she has had some incredible experiences. She shares her stories of travels, adventures, and activities with readers when she speaks. Her book will be out on Amazon in Fall 2024.

With her lectures, she brings a table full of nature and science examples to share with attendees. 

Topics: Outdoor Activities, Literature for kids, Writing activities for children, Nature, Science

Fill out our contact form and tell us about your meeting, convention or conference. We would love to be a part of your learning and inspiration.

Coulson Tough Sculpture for the Woodlands and Possibly Galveston?

Bruce Tough Sits with his dad at Tough Elementary sculpture unveiling.

This past year, I had the honor of sculpting an incredible man. The connection to this commission spans 30 years.  Here is my back story. At the beginning of my sculpting career, I had a fabulous idea. The Historical Strand in Galveston was going through some beautiful restoration and renovation, and I had the notion to create a series of bronze figures in costumes of the 1880s.  I wanted to pitch it to Mr. Mitchel, a philanthropist and investor in the strand, and see if he would be interested. He was already instrumental in bringing art to The Woodlands, a community north of Houston. I could see bronze children playing hoop and stick, ladies walking in bustle skirts, and men wearing top hats. I imagined the corners of streets with bronze people so that visitors could interact with them, and that also would be a sort of intriguing artistic directional system to lead tourists to destinations.

I love Galveston. It speaks to me. The connection began the first time I visited. So, mustering up all the hutzpah I needed, I contacted George Mitchell about the possible opportunity to do these bronzes. I knew he was doing a lot with art in The Woodlands. I had hoped the trend would continue in Galveston, and I began correspondence with Coulson Tough about this idea. Cleaning out years of art paperwork recently, I found my original correspondence with Mr. Tough from 1992.

Finding an old correspondence with Mr. Tough.

Mr. Tough was a creative person in his own right as an architect and visionary, working in development alongside Mr. Mitchell. He joined forces with Mitchell in 1973, working on The Strand in Galveston and The Woodlands. 

Outdoor art is everywhere in the Woodlands. There is a collection of over 86 public art pieces.  It proudly stands as the largest public art collection in Texas.

I’m intrigued by the history and structure of The Outdoor Sculpture Project and the Woodlands Public Art program. Early in my career, it was interesting how many cities, like the Woodlands, have adopted a ‘percent for art’ program. This innovative approach involves imposing a fee on large developments, which they then used to creating public art.

A 2023 article in Paper City states, “The Howard Hughes Corporation’s vast Art Fund and The Woodlands Arts Council keep that drive going. “The Howard Hughes’ Art Fund is a major driver behind the public art in The Woodlands, particularly the larger pieces. The Art Fund was created in 1973 by community leader Coulson Tough under the direction of the founder of The Woodlands, George Mitchell.”

The Woodlands is about 45 minutes north of my home and art studio. I have seen events at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, one of over one hundred projects created through Coulson Tough’s influences. I mostly love to kayak Lake Woodlands, including visiting the one piece of art in the water—the 35-foot-long steel sculpture Rise of The Midgard Serpent by Marc Rosenthal.

I was so excited about the possible Galveston bronze idea all those years ago, but as I pursued it, the prospect of it fizzled out. But my connection to the Woodlands and Tough appeared in a recent commission.  

In 2022, just after the death of Coulson Tough, The Howard Hughes Corporation and Kinzelman Art Consulting contacted me about creating a sculpture of the beloved man.  The Woodlands honored the community leader by naming Tough Elementary after him. The school was the intended spot for my sculpture of this man of influence.  I feel honored to not only have a sculpture in The Woodlands but for it to be of the man who brought all the incredible art to the area. 

I learned a lot about Mr. Tough while creating the sculpture and shared it with the kids at the school. His mark is all over southern Texas, from The San Louis Hotel in Galveston, Texas, to the A&M campus in Galveston and the University of Houston.

The sculpture is of Mr. Tough sitting on a large bench with plenty of place for visitors.  It appears to be a blueprint in his lap, but instead of drafting, there are images and a list of some of his projects. His hand rests on the blueprint as he looks into the distance, reflecting on his contribution and community.  The children can bring paper and pencil and rub the images, transferring them to their own paper.  With permission from the family, I hid some things in the sculpture. I love that the children at Tough Elementary can learn about the man as they explore. 

A mouse peeking out is just one of the hidden items placed for visitors to find.

The unveiling of this sculpture was in December 2023. Many were in attendance, including his son and grandchildren. I may have seen a tear or two.

I never got to create my bronze historical figures in Galveston, but I sure wish someone would pay me to cast a second in the edition of Mr. Tough so we could put him down in Galveston.  I think he belongs there as well.

I am so proud to add this one to my collection of art created for schools, to have worked with Mr. Tough—posthumously, and to be a part of The Woodlands art. I have the best job in the world. I get to celebrate a life remembered.   

What Is Next—Winnie The Pooh?

Sculpture of Winnie The Pooh

Many know me by the Bronze Mad Hatter Tea Party Sculpture in Evelyn’s Park titled Move One Place On. Evelyn’s Park was created for a loving mom by her two sons. The sculpture is there in memory of her. So when you go to Evelyn’s Park and enjoy looking for the 150 hidden things I put in the sculpture in honor of the 150th anniversary or chat with the characters, know it is Evelyn you must thank.

My Favorite Winnie The Pooh

I have always been a Winnie The Pooh fan. So, I’m looking for a place and a patron for four sculpture scenes of this beloved story. These scenes will be the destination site for many visiting Houston.

The beloved Winnie The Pooh has entered the public domain as of 2022.
Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon hopes to create another beloved bronze scene for the Houston area, featuring Pooh and his friends.
Mongeon seeks a patron to assist in creating the scenes along with wooded property to house these four scenes from Pooh’s adventures and the beloved story by A. A. Milne.

Inspiration will be Shepard’s original illustrations recreated with a touch of Mongeon’s interpretation in bronze, as she did with the inspiration of Tenniel’s illustrations for Alice in Wonderland.

The installation of each of the pieces will stagger over 24-48 months, building anticipation. We will install these together in one space, along a trail, or an area—a Hundred Acre Wood type setting, where families must walk to find each scene.

Scene 1
Pooh and Piglet at His Thoughtful Spot

This is one of the smallest of the scenes. Though Shepard does not portray the “thoughtful spot” this way, Mongeon sees a log in a scene that overlooks a special part of a park. Pooh and Piglet sit on the log, leaving room for others to pose for photos. 

Halfway between Pooh’s house and Piglet’s house was a Thoughtful Spot where they met sometimes when they had decided to go and see each other, and as it was warm and out of the wind they would sit down there for a little and wonder what they would do. ~A.A.Milne

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Pooh2.jpg

Scene 2

Poohsticks is played by many. In this scene, Pooh and his friends are on a bridge throwing in sticks. Toss them in on one side and run to the other to see whose stick comes out first. Others are encouraged to toss in the sticks and watch who wins. People hold Poohstick championships around the world.

( This installation is a bit more tricky as it requires plumbing for water and a place where the owner does not mind children throwing things in the water to see who wins.)

They were all playing Poohsticks together. They had dropped their sticks in when Rabbit said “Go!” and then they had hurried across to the other side of the bridge, and now they were all leaning over the edge, waiting to see whose stick would come out first. ~A.A.Milne

Scene 3
Rabbits house

This is the largest of the scenes, with an entire bronze playground consisting of Pooh Stuck in Rabbit’s door and Christopher Robin trying to pull him out. Imagine the selfies of others visiting the park, grabbing onto Christopher Robin and trying to pull Pooh out as well.

Visitors can go around the burrow and through the rabbit’s back door to find his kitchen and Pooh’s legs dangling from the door. Rabbit is in a terrible state. The visiting children can play house, sit at the rabbit’s table, or even push on Pooh from the inside. This bonze will be a favorite stop for many.

“ It all comes,” said Pooh crossly, “of not having front doors big enough. “It all comes,” said Rabbit sternly, “Of eating too much. I thought at the time,” said Rabbit, “only I didn’t like to say anything, said Rabbit, “that one of us was eating too much,” said Rabbit, “and I knew it wasn’t me,” he said. ~A.A.Miln

Scene 4
Eeyore’s Birthday Party

This is a table scene a birthday party for Eeyore, with all the characters and extra space for little guests. Tiger, going into the public domain in 2023, can be added to this scene.

“So it does!” said Piglet. “And it comes out!”
“Doesn’t it?” said Eeyore. “It goes in and out like anything.”
“I’m very glad,” said Pooh happily, “that I thought of giving you a Useful Pot to put things in.”
“I’m very glad,” said Piglet happily, “that I thought of giving you Something to put in a Useful Pot.” But Eeyore wasn’t listening. He was taking the balloon out, and putting it back again, as happy as could be….

“You were so busy getting his party ready for him. He had a cake with icing on the top, and three candles, and his name in pink sugar, and——”

How to Purchase These Scenes

I am looking for a buyer for a public location preferably in Texas, that would like to commit to purchasing each of these scenes. In whatever order is best suited for the property. Contact me if you are interested in providing the best selfie spot and a way to interact with your childhood, in memory of a loved one, or just because.

Christmas Gifts- Ornaments of the Alice In Wonderland Hidden 150

Since 2018 with the installation of the Monumental Sculpture of Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter Tea Party Called Move One Place On in Evelyn’s Park, Bellaire, Texas, I have been committed to bringing the public the hidden 150. What is that? Well, I hid 150 things in the sculpture in honor of the 150th anniversary of the story written by Lewis Carroll. When I was through with the sculpture, the park asked for the list of the 150, and I said no. I wanted to encourage literacy and curiosity, just like Lewis Carroll and Alice. (Please note, if you are looking for the things, it is not just what is hidden in the sculpture, but you must point out where it is and the meaning to either myself, Lewis Carroll, or John Tenniel—the original illustrator of the stories.) Of course, if you have the Annotated Alice, that does help some. I’m sure many who love and study Lewis Carroll will know many just by looking. Another warning, looking for the 150 hidden things is addicting. Leave plenty of time when visiting.

There are 150 Hidden things in the sculpture.

With that in mind, slowly, I’m taking some of the hidden items, bringing them to light, and making Christmas ornaments. Making ornaments is not necessarily new. We have been doing this in past years, but their production was grueling for my studio. Enter my new 3D printers. Lewis Carroll, a mathematician, would have loved that I am creating these using the cartesian coordinates in space using math and 3D printing. I’m so stinking excited about how these 3D-printed ornaments are coming out.

The dormouse on the table and 3D printed- before hand painting


The first 3D print was not a hidden item but is one of my favorites in the scene. It is the dormouse in the teapot. I love that he is sleeping on tea bags. Of course, tea bags would not have been used in the days of Lewis Carroll, so I have artistic license. as I do in the rest of the scene. If you get this ornament, look at the bottom of the teapot. You will see just how good this 3D printing is, as it holds my favorite saying. I 3d scanned the dormouse from the original sculpture and then modified in the computer and 3D printed it out. Each ornament is hand stained. Right now, all the ornaments are stained bronze, similar to the original sculpture. Some people have asked if other colors are available. I’m open to suggestions on this. Would you like to see all silver or all gold?

Morphing a cabinet. What is in the drawer?


Working in 3D was so much fun. Morphing things became very easy, and so the cabinet in the scene of Alice falling through the hole is one of those experiments that I loved. Has she grabbed the jar yet? I did change this one a bit from what you see in the art at the park. There is something inside the open drawer.

Cards That Paint the Roses Red

I loved creating these cards for the scene, and the originals I used in the park were sculpted using some 3D-printed parts. I experimented with the faces of three people. David- 7 is a friend who also posed for the Mad Hatter’s body. I love it when friends are willing to pose in costumes. While I had him, I put a hood on his head, and he became number 7. Allison was an intern at the time. She and I combed the costume places, trying to find just the right costumes that I could use as a reference for the entire scene. Allison is confrontational number 2. Finally, my son-in-law, Bill, was the model for the number 5. His hands are raised with the attitude of, “Wait, wait, let’s all get along here.” Buy them individually or as a group.

The White Queen
There is a ton of emotion around this one. many years ago when I was first learning to sculpt digitally I created a portrait of my mother in Mudbox. When the monumental Alice sculpture project came about I had to have mom in there. Of course my family shows up in many other ways in the entire scene, but mom as the white queen was important to me.

We will go back and add the original ornaments redesigned for 3D printing and also add them to the shopping cart. If you would like any of the 2022 pieces please visit the shopping cart and place your order.

A Camping Grub Box

When I’m not sculpting or writing, you can find me out in the woods. I love nature. I started the Houston Women’s Hiking group to help ladies hike safely. We are now over 7,000 members. I love to encourage.

As many know, I have a YouTube channel for my art and one for the Alice project, but I also have another more recent one called Women Stepping Outside. The channel encourages women to step outdoors or step outside of their own emotional or spiritual confines to reach what they truly want to be. If you are interested in this channel, please subscribe. I’m having so much fun posting videos about the outdoors and encouraging women in life. You can also find Women Stepping Outside on Facebook and Instagram

Now, about this video and blog post.
I can’t build out my van for camping as I use it to haul sculptures and materials. However, I do love to camp and, I also have to travel for work, and my preferred lodging is my van. Slowly I have made modifications for my van, not permanent build-outs, but things that can be taken in and out of the van as needed.

My family and friends have purchased trailers. I love the ease of having a van and picking up when I want to, without having to go and get something, pay for a rental space etc. But I needed to make it a bit more comfortable so, I have done a few things like building out my bed and building this grub box.

A Camp Kitchen/Grub Box or Chuck box
The reason for having a grub box is that it keeps all of your kitchen and cooking things in one spot when camping. As this video states, I have gone through three in my life. They have gotten smaller over the years. This new design is my own, and I love it. Who would have thought a hunk of wood would make me feel so liberated? The design started as cardboard. Then I found this wonderful website called cutlistoptimizer.com. If you want to modify my design, just put your configurations in, and it will lay it out for you. How cool is that? I ended up not using wooden shelves and instead used only these drawer below that were hung on 2×2 rails. Less wood means a lighter grub box, which was my intention. Remember to account for the thickness of the wood when you are working out your dimensions and putting things together. My box is 20 inches wide by 17 3/4 deep by 22 1/2 inches tall. The box that sits on top is 20 inches wide, by 17 3/4 deep by 5 1/2 inches tall. The wings are 10″ tall (The measurements below don’t fit the latest version of my box, Some of the pieces I didn’t even use, but using cutlistoptimizer will make your configurations work just fine.)

The Drawers
I got mine from the Container store. They come in two parts- the drawers and the runners. Figure out what drawers you want, and then build your cabinet around that. I thought there were no drawers for the size of my grub box when I started, then, my daughter Christina Sizemore found some. She is excellent at finding things and helping others organize their trailers. My design was not wide enough to accomodate the drawers we found, so, I had to notch some things out. I might even make the grub box a bit deeper so the drawers could pull out easily. Otherwise you will have to assemble the drawers as you build the box, as I did. But that is up to you. As those who use their vehicles for camping know, every inch of space is accounted for.
The box for my drawers says the surface area covered is 16-7/8 x 20-3/4 inches with drawer installed.

Here are the other things I mentioned in the video.
* My tea pot * My fancy wine cup* My hot plate *My small, deep, one person electric skillet ,*My electric outlet * My coleman stool,

* My handles on each side *My cute latch on the front *The hardware latches to attach the tray to the grub box *The plastic trays *Those cool flush mount hinges *The cool night light.

You can get furniture grade pvc from Home depot. I did have to order the colored fittings through Formufit. The plywood I used was from home depot and I used 2×2 firing strips to frame the box and use on the wings for mounting.

Podcast Interview with Homespun Haints

When contacted by Homespun Haints about doing a podcast segment, I was, at first, a little reserved. I mean, what I do is very intimate. But the ladies handled the subject about sculpting the deceased with great dignity. I thought I would put together a blog post with some links to the things we talked about on the show. If you have not heard it yet, here is the link to the podcast The Woman Who Sculpts the Deceased.

I mentioned that Texas Country Reporter did a wonderful segment on my work with deceased loved ones. Here is that video.

“Bringing To Life The Spirit of The Deceased A Sculptor’s Journey” is the name of the book that I wrote in my undergraduate studies about my work with the deceased. I wish I had a publisher for it. I have been searching for a new publisher and or agent for several books. In this book, I documented four commissions Lucas, Patsy, Janine, and Richard. I also recored what it took to make those commissions, the unusual experiences and some of my journey about this gift, and the overabundance of empathy that enables me to connect to the deceased through their surviving loved ones. 

It is true. I develop a relationship with the deceased through my artwork. 

For those interested in knowing some of the research, I loved studying Paul Eckman’s facial action coding system and its relation to my ability to “feel” things from my subject matter. Funerary art is a fascinating subject, and the psychology and science behind the face and emotion will always intrigue me.  

I mention the mirror neuron study. PBS has a great episode on Mirror Neurons for anyone interested. Neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramchandran has some excellent research on this subject.

  • In my undergraduate research, I asked two questions.
    1. How do I capture the essence of someone I have never known. 2. How do I cause an emotional reaction from my viewer. Of course, I had to take a hard look at my heightened empathy. You can imagine when, at the end, through the commission that was a suicide I discovered the science behind what I do. It blew my mind.
  • The sculpture commissions I spoke about were Lucas, Patsy, Norma Janean 
  • I love cemeteries and the cemetery sculpture I spoke of was of Victor Noir in the Pere Lachaise cemetery. “The statue of Victor Noir, famous for a protuberance in its trousers, has been touched by thousands of women since being placed in the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris in 1981.”
  • On the Homespun Haints podcast I spoke of the podcasts that my mother and I did. Actually it was mom, my daughter and myself. “Inspiration Generations, Three generations of christian women share their thoughts about different issues and aspects of life.” I started these because mom was homebound or often bed bound and this was her ministry. Here are some of the ones that I think might be of interest.

What Happens at death? 


This podcast talks about the unusual circumstances and visits that Barbara had while in the hospital. The deceased came to visit. The experience of helping Barbara transition from this world to the next was incredible. Her daughter and granddaughter share some of the beautiful spirit lead moments before Barbara’s death and how God had the entire experience in his hand.

In loving memory of our co-host mom and grandmother, Barbara Ingersoll

On August 17th, 2009, Barbara Ingersoll went to be with the Lord. However, she will be greatly missed; however, her ministry and this podcast continue with her many years of journals.

Death of Parents and a Christian Jewish Friendship


In this one I talk to mom about the death of a mom, just a few months before her death. Death is inevitable, but no one wants to go through the process of losing their mom or dad. It is part of being in the “sandwich” generation, and Bridgette shares her recent experience of holding her best friend’s hand as she sits in ICU and then the death of her friend’s mom. The women share the Jewish traditions of death and burial and the connection between Bridgette and her best friend. 

Then the women talk about gaining wisdom as we grow, and as we gain experience, we help the generations that come after us. 

I have not talked about all of this in a long time and it was fun for me to revisit the commissions, the unusual circumstances and my documentation. It has been a fascinating journey, as is each new deceased loved one that I get to meet.

An Educational Resource -3D Scanning

I have been working with Booker T. Washington High School to create, not only a sculpture for their school, but also some educational blog posts for their Booker T. Washington Sculpture blog. Here is one on the scanning of booker T. I love this.


If you remember, back in September I reported about my friend Tom who came and scanned the small sculpture and the chair for me before I had to put the small maquette of Booker T. through the mold-making processes. I’m so glad he could do that and wait to get paid because, as you can see, the sculpture was damaged in the mold making process. If I waited to scan until after making the mold for the foundry, I would have had to fix the clay, and it would not be as it was when it was approved. He was glad to use this as an educational process for his nephew. Lex is a freshman at UT Arlington and is studying aerospace engineering and scanned the pieces.

In this educational video on 3D Scanning we talk about the process and much more. The scanner used on this project is a Creaform.

Free Webinar – Down the Rabbit Hole

Houston, Texas artist Bridgette Mongeon with Mad Hatter
Online Marketing Classes
Bridgette Mongeon shares the inspiration behind
the art. Join us but remember we are all mad here.

Sculptor/Author Bridgette Mongeon would like to invite you on a “curious” adventure- a free online webinar about creating her monumental sculpture titled “Move One Place On.” The bronze sculpture is of Alice In Wonderland’s Mad Hatter Tea Party.
Space for the webinar is limited, and preregistration is required. Some lucky attendees will receive gifts from the artist. October 18, 2020

In Evelyn’s Park in Bellaire, Texas, just outside of Houston, there is a monumental sculpture of the Mad Hatter Tea Party. In honor of the 150th anniversary of the story, the artist also hid 150 elements. Many have asked her for a list of the hidden 150. Those who know the stories of Alice In Wonderland will have an advantage. Mongeon will be revealing a few of the hidden elements in the webinar.

This is also a wonderful webinar for those interested in STEAM/STEM education-the interdisciplinary education incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Mongeon offers free resources on STEAM education as it pertains to Alice in Wonderland.

Mad Hatter and texas artist Bridgette Mongeon
Bridgette shares the technology behind the art.

How was the sculpture Made?
What was the inspiration behind the sculpture?
How long did it take?
How does the artist work with technology and fine art?
Mongeon will also be sharing what is happening now with the art.

Texas sculptor Bridgette MOngeon with Alice in Wonderland in Evelyn's Park.
Visitors to this coveted dinning experience can sit and have tea with the characters.

You are invited to a Zoom Webinar.
When: Oct 18, 2020 01:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Length: 1 1/2 hours Q and A to follow.
Topic: Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon and Alice in Wonderland Sculpture

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Bronze sculpture in Texas by artist Bridgette Mongeon

Welcome to Wonderland in Evelyn’s Park.

Drawings will be picked from attendees for the chance to receive—

  • One of the hidden 150 objects as a Christmas Ornament. $15-20 value or
  • an online class with Bridgette Mongeon $35
  • A gift from Tea in Texas. $25 value teaintexas.com teablessings.com
  • A $50 gift certificate provided by Betsy’s. If you have not tried their food, they are located in Evelyn’s park. Grab a meal and walk over and eat it in Wonderland at the table with Alice, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, Cheshire Cat and Dormouse.

To find out if you have won, please follow Bridgette Mongeon’s Instagram page and watch for announcement. If you visit the park and take pictures don’t forget to tag the artist. She is always looking for the most cleaver images of interactions in Wonderland.