LEGO Dreams Come True at The Art of the Brick

Nathan Sawaya's The Art of the Brick at the Buffalo Museum of Science

This weekend, The Art of the Brick opens at the Buffalo Museum of Science in all of its brightly colored LEGO glory. Cody and I were invited to check out the exhibit, which is the brainchild of lawyer-turned-LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya, a few days early. We headed to Buffalo’s East Side on Thursday night, excited to not only see the LEGO masterpieces but wander through a few of the Museum’s other exhibits, since we hadn’t been inside since a school field trip a dozen or so years ago.

The Buffalo Museum of Science’s collection of artifacts is incredible and reason enough to spend an afternoon wandering through the exhibits, no matter how old you are. But nothing, and I mean nothing, is as cool as LEGOs. Especially when they’re being used to recreate iconic works of art and portray human emotion.

Nathan Sawaya's The Art of the Brick at the Buffalo Museum of Science

The exhibit is split roughly into 4 sections and the first is where you’ll find Sawaya’s reimagining of well-known works of art. He’s got everything from Michelangelo’s David to van Gogh’s Starry Night. Every piece was incredible, even disregarding the fact that it’s made from thousands of LEGOs. Some of my favorite works of art were recreated for the exhibit, including Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (Edgar Degas) and The Great Wave (Katsushika Hokusai), which was pretty cool.

Nathan Sawaya's The Art of the Brick at the Buffalo Museum of Science

Next are the original models Sawaya is most well known for. These are mostly human forms, as well as kid-approved crayons, castles, jacks and a giant dinosaur. If you think LEGOs aren’t an excellent medium for sharing your point of view on human emotion and expression, get ready for this exhibit to prove you wrong.

Part 3 is a wonderfully minimalist collaboration between Sawaya and photographer Dean West. I still can’t believe the incredible attention to detail that made a building material as simple as LEGOs so lifelike.

Nathan Sawaya's The Art of the Brick at the Buffalo Museum of Science

What fun is looking at LEGOs if you can’t build with them? To be honest, just looking was pretty fun. But this is the Buffalo Museum of Science, so of course, there are lots of cool ways to use LEGOs for yourself in the fourth and final section of the exhibit, appropriately called The Science of the Brick. We opted not to build the Great Wall of China or the Colosseum out of LEGOs, but we did design some cool race cars to try on the timed (!) track.

The Science of the Brick at the Buffalo Museum of Science

We probably spent 30 minutes in The Art of the Brick and if you’re really into building the best LEGO race car there ever was (among other cool challenges), you could probably spend another 30 creating your masterpieces. The Museum is predicting some pretty big crowds this weekend, but you can check out the exhibit any time from now until May 5th!

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I received an invitation to the VIP preview reception of The Art of the Brick at the Buffalo Museum of Science. The thoughts I share here are always my own!

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