The Art of the Brick

If your kid likes Legos, then you should go to The Art of the Brick.

If you like Legos, then you should go to The Art of the Brick.

If your child likes art, art history or just history, then you should go to The Art of the Brick.

If your child has an interest in any of the STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), then you should go to The Art of the Brick.

If your child likes building, creating, imagining and/or playing, then you should go to The Art of the Brick.

My point is, you should probably go to The Art of the Brick exhibit at The Cincinnati Museum Center. Because it’s pretty darn cool.

The Art of the Brick presents LEGOs in a whole new light, demonstrating the potential of creativity and the power of imagination. This exhibit features over 100 works by contemporary artist Nathan Sawaya — made completely out of LEGOs. It’s the first major museum exhibition to use LEGO bricks as the sole art medium — and a great way to get kids into art.

Before entering the exhibit, we were shown a short video about Sawaya. In it, he encourages kids to get building and creating and imagining — because anything can be art, and anything is possible. It’s a great message for kids and adults, and really takes the abstract concept of “art” and makes it real and meaningful and tangible. Just like Sawaya’s works.

This exhibit features classic works like the Mona Lisa, Starry Night, The Scream and American Gothic; historic pieces like the Sphinx, the Venus de Milo and the Thinker; and original works by Sawaya.

Kids will love the large scale of some of these pieces; for example, the T-Rex takes up a whole room! They’ll get a great lesson in art history viewing Sawaya’s reimaginings of The Scream and the Sphinx. They’ll be amused by the funky, abstract robots and creatures. They’ll relate to familiar objects like railroad tracks, hearts, apples and dogs. They’ll love the Cincinnati Flying Pig (a piece Sawaya built specifically for the Cincinnati exhibit!) and the hug-able tree at the end.

One note: aside from the aforementioned tree, all of the works are off-limits as far as touching goes. Older kids will understand this — but my busy little 16-month old did not grasp this concept. If you’re going with multiple younger-aged kids, my advice is to bring a friend or partner to help corral!

While the exhibit pieces are just for looking, there is a huge area (called “Brickopolis”) at the end with lots of tables full of blocks where kids are encouraged to play and create. My kids were all over this, and spent a good 45 minutes building cars, space ships and houses. So — if your kids need incentive to keep their hands to themselves, tell them there’s a fun play area waiting at the end of the exhibit!

The Art of the Brick will be on display until May 1, 2016. Hours vary and are available on the website. Tickets are $19.50/adult; $12.50/child and $17.50/senior. Members get a substantial discount; tickets are $12.50/adult and $8.50/child.

The Cincinnati Museum Center is located at 1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45203.


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