Unique Sculptures Turn Toys into Art at Fleet Science Center’s ‘The Art of the Brick’
Written by: Erin Coller
The Fleet Science Center has been transformed into an art gallery, with awe-inspiring pieces of art made entirely out of LEGO® bricks. The Art of the Brick exhibition, the world’s largest display of LEGO art, is on display until Jan. 29 at the Fleet Science Center in San Diego’s Balboa Park.
Visit The Art of the Brick exhibition before it ends on Jan. 29. Enjoy the stunningly large T. rex LEGO dinosaur display, and make sure to keep an eye out for the smallest work of LEGO art, a mouse. Tickets can be purchased at fleetscience.org or in person at the ticket counter (1875 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101).
Visiting The Art of the Brick is a mind bending experience. The exhibition features over 100 sculptures made from more than one million LEGO bricks, all created by renowned contemporary artist Nathan Sawaya. Visitors can come face-to-face with everything from a 20-foot-long Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur skeleton made from LEGO bricks to a re-imagined version of van Gogh’s The Starry Night. Visitors will be amazed by the artistry and ingenuity of the pieces in the exhibition.
The use of LEGO as a medium makes the artistry of The Art of the Brick accessible to anybody who has ever played with LEGOs before. The exhibition also showcases the science involved with building and engineering potentially massive structures out of LEGO bricks.
The exhibition features multiple rooms, including two rooms that display LEGO re-creations of famous artworks such as da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Michelangelo’s David and Hokusai’s The Great Wave. Another highlight of the exhibition is a collaboration between photographer Dean West and Sawaya. Together, they have created a series of photographs that include LEGO sculptures cleverly integrated into the images. This collaboration highlights the reason why this art-focused exhibition was selected for display by the Fleet Science Center, as it showcases the skills of innovation and use of unlikely tools to create something new.
“The Fleet is thrilled to feature an exhibition as exciting and innovative as The Art of the Brick,” said Dr. Steve Snyder, CEO of the Fleet Science Center. “Our visitors are inquisitive at heart and driven to explore. The creative designs of The Art of the Brick can inspire young scientists and aspiring engineers in a fun and inviting way. Our hope is that this exhibition will help the Fleet empower people of all ages to connect with the wonder and creative possibilities of science.”
The Art of the Brick has been traveling for 10 years and this is its first time on display in Southern California. Artist Sawaya, based in New York City and Los Angeles, is the creator of all the art pieces in The Art of the Brick. After relying on LEGO bricks as a creative outlet throughout law school and then spending a decade as a corporate lawyer, Sawaya decided to follow his passion to become a full-time artist. Sawaya is the first contemporary artist to ever take LEGO into the art world as a medium.
“Sawaya’s inspired work has demonstrated the potential of LEGO as a building block for inquiry,” said Ashanti Davis, Fleet Science Center exhibits supervisor. “LEGO bricks function in their simplest form as an educational and architectural toy, but they can also be used as a tool to create beautiful pieces of art.”
As an accompaniment to The Art of the Brick, the Fit-A-Brick Building Zone is a space where LEGO lovers of all ages can explore their creativity and build their own creations with LEGO bricks or LEGO DUPLO blocks. The Fit-a-Brick Build Zone features adult and kid-sized work stations and a display area for visitors to share their most impressive creations.