Announcing— The sculptor of the statue- Bridgette Mongeon

4 May

Paul Maxwell announces the sculptor of the Grandma Gatewood tribute statue—Bridgette Mongeon.

For several reasons, we chose Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon as the official sculptor of the Grandma Gatewood Sculpture. First, her work is amazing. She is known for sculpting such celebrities as B.B. King, Willie Nelson, and Bill Monroe. Her monumental sculpture of Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter Tea Party, with over 150 hidden things in Bellaire, Texas, is one that everyone must visit.

Bridgette is all about history and capturing the essence of loved ones in clay. Her art studio will install a monumental sculpture of Booker T. Washington in Houston this summer. Recently she has been excited about focusing on powerful, strong women. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League commissioned her to do a portrait of Penny Marshall for her involvement in the movie A League of Their Own.

When asked recently by a friend, “Is there anyone you would love to sculpt?” She answered, “There is no one I can think of that excites me, accept Grandma Gatewood.”

Why does Grandma Gatewood mean so much to the artist? For years Bridgette, like Grandma Gatewood, would go into the woods alone. “I’m going in. I’ll be out in an hour.” She would text her daughter for safety reasons. “Great, Mom, I have your GPS; I know where to tell them to find the body.” Her daughter would joke. “Mom, please start a group.” And in 2016, she did just that. She started a Facebook group called Houston Women’s Hiking. It has grown to over 14,500 women in Houston, with 50 -100 new members weekly, and is changing many lives.

Bridgette has shown the Grandma Gatewood movie at her home around the fire pit with friends. I sculpt a lot of deceased loved ones. Someone said, ‘You develop a relationship with the deceased.’ Bridgette says, She looks forward to becoming friends with Grandma Gatewood during this journey.

Hiking for Bridgette is a family affair. She travels with her family monthly. Her Daughter Christina Sizemore is co-admin of the group. Bridgette’s ten-year-old granddaughter, another generation of hikers, is writing a book with her grandmother about traveling the Texas State parks. Christina is also joining the Grandma Gatewood fundraising team with a marketing and public relations background.

You can follow Bridgette’s work and progress on Instagram.

“I have a kinship with this woman I have never known.” States Bridgette. “She knew the power of walking in the woods, how it could heal, and how much the woods had to give. She knew how to encourage other women by simply putting one step in front of the other. We must celebrate her; a sculpture is the only way I know how.”


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