Let’s face it. We live in a LEGO world.  They are piled high in multi-colored mountains around the kids’ rooms, slowly but surely encroaching on every living space in our homes: hidden plastic pellets, laying in wait for hapless feet. Brick by brick our budding builders have erected interlocking worlds inhabited by space ships, robots, pirates, castles, cars n’ creatures –only to destroy and rebuild, destroy and rebuild.  We’ve spent a small fortune feeding the dragon but still they WANT. MORE. LEGO.

lego-kids

Before heading back to the LEGO store (where you inevitably will drop beaucoup bucks), detour over to The Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale which is currently hosting The Art of the Brick®, an exhibition featuring more than 30 astonishing sculptures crafted solely from LEGO bricks and rated by CNN as “one of the top twelve must-see exhibitions in the world.”  We’re talking life-size LEGO-people, towering crayons, and heady creations  that will blow minds and drop jaws, young and old.  This is LEGO art that will amaze you as much as your kiddo (and required neither the drive nor the money that a trip to Carlsbad will run you…).

think-1b

The Ultimate Brick Master
The artist, New York based Nathan Sawaya, started out just like your little brickmaster, spending endless childhood hours in the LEGO land of his own room. Today he uses nearly one million standard LEGO bricks to construct his plastic masterpieces (try fitting that in the toy box at home) and spends six figures annually on supplies.

Working In Studio

Interlocking Ingenuity
We love that Sawaya has abandoned the old LEGO stand-bys. You won’t find Starfighter vehicles or Hogwarts Castles here. (Although there is a castle of another sort…) These whimsical brick creations will no doubt inspire your kiddos to think outside the cardboard box they came in.

EricaAnnPhoto_NathanSawaya-315

One of  Sawaya’s best-known sculpures, Yellow, features a, well, yellow man ripping open his torso as yellow plastic bricks tumble out.

Yellow

Another one, Green, is a life-size man lifting his head off of his body. Gray (anyone else noticing a theme here?) depicts a man pulling aside curtains for a peek at the world.

Gray

Along with mind-bending pieces of an avant-garde flavor, there are also more familiar images that will stun and surprise with their precision. Check out a national monument….

Rushmore3_3

…or imagine a world, like, more peaceful, man.

PeacebyPieces_side

Kiddos thinking of trying this at home? Clear their schedules and a large room: they’ll need about a month and nearly 25,000 bricks for just one of these life-size LEGO-fellas.

Xray

But here’s a little secret: plans are in the works to bring your little brick artists their own mini-Yellows to build at home. Click here for more information.

Wanna make a day of it? 
The Art of Brick exhibit will only take a short time to walk through. But while you’re at the museum, check out the permanent displays, and enjoy the sweeping views and serenity from the gorgeous terraces outside.  You won’t find this at the LEGO store.

Forest Lawn is also a hop, skip and jump away from Travel Town and LA Live Steamers (should you happen to visit on a Sunday), so couple your LEGO adventure with a train adventure and you’ll have one happy little kiddo.  (Just remember to pack snacks, as none of those places have choice comestibles!  And nothing but nothing ruins an outing faster than starving kiddos.)

Nuts n’ Bolts
The Art of the Brick is on view now at the Forest Lawn Museum through July 21st, 2013. The museum is open every day except Monday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Admission and parking are always free.

Forest Lawn Museum
1712 S. Glendale Avenue,
Glendale, Ca 91205
323-340-4921
online: forestlawn.com  
 

Do you have any LEGO hot spots that we don’t know about? Tell us about it here! 

ADVERTISEMENT

–Jennifer Wolfe

Art of Brick photos (in order of appearance): Think, Erica Ann, Yellow, Gray, Rushmore, Peace By Pieces, Xray by artist Nathan Sawaya, courtesy of www.brickartist.com; additional photos by Jennifer Wolfe and floodllama via Creative Commons