Fine Arts Museum News

Brick Artist Transforms Toy LEGO® Bricks into Art

Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts

May 17, 2010

If you build it, they will come. And New York artist Nathan Sawaya has built some amazing sculptures out of common LEGO® building bricks. The Art of the Brick, an exhibition of Sawaya’s work, will be on view from June 16 through September 5 at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts at the Quadrangle.

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There is a special exhibition fee of $5 per person in addition to museum admission for all visitors ages 3 and up. The Brick Lab, a play area stocked with LEGO bricks at the Science Museum, is included in the special exhibition ticket. Visitors to The Art of the Brick will have the opportunity to see Sawaya at work on a new piece on Saturday, July 31.

The Art of the Brick features 29 whimsical three-dimensional works created from nearly one million colorful pieces. Sawaya’s attention to detail, scale, color and sense of action elevates this common toy to the status of art. He has the uncanny ability to make little rectangular bricks produce curved forms. The exhibit includes portraits and human figures, a 19-foot-long dinosaur skeleton, abstract constructions, and common objects such as a giant pencil and a skateboard. Both beautiful and playful, the exhibit appeals to adults and children alike.

As a child, Sawaya drew cartoons, wrote stories, perfected magic tricks and also played with LEGO. After college at NYU he rediscovered LEGO not as a toy, but as an art medium. He has been featured on national television, including The Today Show, Late Night with David Letterman, and The Colbert Report. In January of this year, there was an entire Jeopardy category devoted to The Lego Art of Nathan Sawaya. His work has been featured in museum collections including the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York; the Toy Museum in Bellaire, Ohio; the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, Illinois, and the Stamford Museum in Stamford, Connecticut.

Nathan Sawaya: The Art of the Brick is made possible through the support of Michele and Donald D'Amour.

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