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Sculptor builds statue of Booker T. Washington for HISD students

Bridgette Mongeon has sculpted national and international works and does a Brooker T. Washington sculpture for Independence Heights HS

HOUSTON — The story’s approach is to create problems that seem “larger than life.” Then again some numbers really are.

“‘Success should be measured not by the position one has achieved in life, but by the obstacles one has overcome in trying to achieve success’…a quote from Booker T. Washington,” reads Bridgette Mongeon.

In his Kentwood Manor studio, Mongeon shapes this historic past with his hands.

“They learn — for themselves — not just about the person but about the essence and what they stand for,” Mongeon says.

This statue of American creator, educator, and civil rights leader Booker T. Washington is aptly destined for the HISD High School that bears his name. This project, funded by Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee, has been underway for some time but was halted by the pandemic.

“Now it’s been revamped and we’re really excited about it…we’re really excited that it’s finished,” Mongeon says.

The course of all his sculptures is a school in itself, involving processes such as 3D printing. That’s why this sculpture can be part of a project that places “Art” in STEAM

“It’s about looking at math through the eyes of the artwork, it’s about looking at engineering through the eyes of the artwork…and it’s is how everything is collectively woven,” says Mongeon.

Every element recreating history that his statue will help ensure is not forgotten.

“I know a lot more about Booker T. and I really feel like I actually recognized him creating him,” Mongeon says.

The next step in the sculpting process is to carve Booker T. into objects and then make molds for him to be cast in bronze.

If all goes according to plan, Bridgette says the statue could very well be placed in high school later this year or early next year.

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