THE ICON: Angela Gregory
THE LEGACY: When she was 12 years old, Angela Gregory was struck by a creative urge, crafting a backyard birdbath out of chicken wire, concrete and waste basket. It was the start of a career that would see Gregory — a sculptor whose works dot the New Orleans landscape — carve a niche for herself in what was at the time largely a male-dominated profession. Her first major commission came at age 25, when she was hired to design the architectural sculpture on the facade of the Criminal District Court building. From that point, she would become one of the city’s most prolific sculptors. Her creations include the head of Aesculapius, the god of medicine, at Tulane School of Medicine; the Tulane seal above the stage in McAlister Auditorium on the Uptown campus; and, in the state Capitol, eight bas-relief profiles depicting men who had shaped the state. Probably Gregory’s most-seen creation is a statue of New Orleans’ founder, Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, in the French Quarter.
THE ARTIST: Jessica Strahan
THE INSPIRATION: “Ideas are born in clay, stone and bronze.” — Angela Gregory, from her journal