As my recent posts have said, I’m headed up north to speak. I’m especially excited that I will be speaking at my high school- Kenmore West, in Kenmore, New York. I have even found a way for the art students of that high school to get involved with the new monumental bronze sculpture of the Mad Hatter tea party. I am working on this in Texas, it is receiving world wide attention. It will be great to have the students of Kenmore West involved.
They will be creating one of the tea cups on the table. Actually they will be helping me to bring to life my grandmother’s antique tea cup that I scanned using the Next Engine Laser Scanner. More on that later.
I’ll also be speaking at Penn State September 28th at 7:00 and then my last gig in Buffalo is at the Buffalo Lab on the first of October to speak and have a book signing. October 1st. 7:00. Here is the press release that is coming out of The Foundry, Buffalo Lab and Ken Ton School district. They did a great job on collaborating. Penn State- Behrend has also done a great job. Thanks to you all.
Artist/Author Behind Highly Anticipated “Alice in Wonderland” Sculpture to Provide Engaging Educational Experience at Kenmore West High School and Buffalo Lab
The world is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” and a nationally known artist, sculptor and author is bringing local students and artists into the celebration with her work on a one-of-a-kind monumental bronze sculpture capturing the iconic Mad Hatter’s tea party.
Bridgette Mongeon, a native of the Ken-Ton area, has been commissioned by the Rubenstein Foundation in Texas to create a monumental sculpture that will include an eight-foot-tall Mad Hatter, Alice, and March Hare in attendance. There will also be plenty of space for children and adults to join the characters at the table for a picnic and the most curious of dining experiences.
On Sept. 30, during a visit to Western New York, Mongeon will engage art students at Kenmore West High School in a cross-curricular educational experience that combines art, literature, technology, engineering, math and science. She has also been invited as a guest lecturer for adults interested in learning and jumping down the rabbit hole of art and technology during a visit to the Buffalo Lab, a community workshop space at The Foundry, located at 298 Northampton St., Buffalo, NY 14208, beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1.
Mongeon combines both traditional sculpting processes with cutting edge computer and printing technology. A key part of her work is 3D modeling and 3D printing, an important subject for today’s art students at Kenmore West High School who benefit from the school’s advanced art programs and imaging technology.
Students in art teacher David Rogalski’s classes at Kenmore West will also have the chance to contribute toward the highly anticipated sculpture. Students will use 3D scans of antique teacups and tackle the extremely challenging task of enhancing the intricate decorative floral designs in a 3D environment using a software program called Mudbox. The sculptures will then be 3D printed and added to the scene before Mongeon sends the sculpture to Shidoni Foundry in New Mexico for bronze casting.
Mongeon is known for her bronze sculptures of children, as well as entertainers such as B. B. King, Willie Nelson and Bill Monroe. She has been commissioned to create school mascots such as the larger-than-life Prairie View Panther for Texas’ Prairie View A&M University and a 15-foot tiger for Grambling State University in Grambling, La. She will also soon be creating a sculpture of Neil Armstrong commissioned by Kindness Without Limits Education as a gift to Russia.
Mongeon’s work on the tea party sculpture coincides with the release of her new book, “3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting, and Milling.” In the book, she describes the digital and traditional processes that she and other artists all over the world are using in their art. She will incorporate these same processes in her sculpture of the Mad Hatter scene, using tools such as the Next Engine 3D Laser Scanner and digital sculpting programs such as Mudbox and ZBrush.
“You could say that Alice no longer needs mushrooms, cakes or elixirs to grow,” Mongeon said. “These tools help me generate a digital model that can then be crafted using computer numerically controlled (CNC) milling machines. Alice and her friends grow to eight feet tall with technology. I then carve on the large foam pieces, adding a fine layer of clay and more detail before making molds that will be shipped to Shidoni Foundry.”
The installation and unveiling of this sculpture in Evelyn’s Park in Bellaire, Texas, a suburb of Houston, is scheduled for late 2016. Guests can try to find more than 150 hidden elements, including characters such as Humpty Dumpty and the White Queen, which will be carefully and covertly positioned throughout the scene. Many of these smaller items the artist will create using these digital tools. The highly anticipated sculpture is expected to make the park a tourism destination for visitors of Houston and lovers of the works of Lewis Carroll.
Just as in the story, the sculpture titled “Move One Place On” beckons visitors to change places upon their visit. Mongeon hopes visitors will develop a tradition of shouting the proclamation and change places at the bronze table as they visit the sculpture.
The sculpture has additional connections to Western New York. The likeness of the artist’s mother, the late Barbara Ingersoll, was used for the hidden White Queen. For much of her life, Ingersoll was involved with a ministry that helped hurting women in Western New York and Canada. Also, the inspiration for the Hatter comes from another family member, the late Jack Rzadkiewicz, a postal worker and Buffalo native. Finally, the likeness of the artist’s adult daughter, Christina Sizemore, who lives in Houston but works for Western New York’s Feel Rite Fresh Markets, was used for Alice.
“I love to have this personal and intimate family connection in the piece,” Mongeon said.
IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE
Nationally known sculptor, artist, And author will be guest lecturer at ken-west/Buffalo Lab, Providing an engaging educational experience tied to highly anticipated Monumental “alice in wonderland” tea party sculpture
When & Where: 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30 in the Kenmore West High School Auditorium, 33 Highland Parkway, Buffalo, NY 14223, and 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1 at Buffalo Lab in The Foundry, 298 Northampton St., Buffalo, NY 14208.
Who: Bridgette Mongeon, a Western New York area native and nationally known sculptor, artist and author. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” the Rubenstein Foundation of Texas has commissioned Mongeon to create a monumental sculpture of the Mad Hatter’s tea party for Evelyn’s Park in Bellaire, Texas. The sculpture will include an eight-foot Mad Hatter, Alice, and March Hare, and provide seating for children and adults to join the characters at the table. The highly anticipated sculpture is expected to make the park a destination for tourist and lovers of the endearing works of Lewis Carroll. Mongeon sculpts traditionally and incorporates cutting-edge digital technology that she wrote about in her recently released book “3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting, and Milling.”
What: Mongeon will engage Ken-West art students in a cross-curricular educational experience that ties directly into their work on topics such as digital modeling and 3D printing. Students will have the chance to contribute by assisting with the decorative 3D floral patterns on a tea cup that will be a part of the bronze table setting at the Hatter’s tea party Mongeon will also speak and engage artists at Buffalo Lab at The Foundry the following day.
Why: Mongeon and her sculpture have many ties to the area. The inspiration for some of the characters come from family members who have lived their entire lives in Buffalo. She is returning to educate and inspire. She will enhance the educational experience of students in Ken-Ton’s advanced art programs and provide examples of how topics such as 3D digital modeling are used in the profession. In addition to talking about traditional sculpting techniques, she will also give students the chance to play a role in a one-of-a-kind, internationally known sculpture that is poised to become a tourist destination.