No, your eyes don’t deceive you. Those are life-sized LEGO sculptures with their arms wrapped around small trees in a NYC playground — to be precise, Clement Clarke Moore Park at West 22nd St. and 10th Ave. in Chelsea. The New York City Parks Department recently unveiled Hugman, a public art installation created by Brickmaster Extraordinaire Nathan Sawaya, the artist behind the wildly successful (and super kid-pleaser) “The Art of the Brick” exhibit at Discovery Times Square.
Made with more than 50,000 multi-colored LEGO bricks, three figures — two adults and one child — are dotted around the park’s circumference (but within the playground gates). Each one gently hugs a tree.
If you’ve got sharp eyes, you might spy another figure: a pure yellow miniature robot also getting in on the nature-loving act.
“I hope these splashes of color made from recycled LEGO bricks inspire people to explore found art and bring awareness to using reclaimed objects in their everyday lives,” said Sawaya in a press release.
Just like “The Art of the Brick” show, no touching allowed, but unlike the exhibit, Hugman is free.
The extra cool thing is that you and your kids may have had a hand in helping to create this artwork if you attended “The Art of the Brick.” At the end of that exhibit, visitors were asked to write their name on a LEGO piece and add it to a wall mural. In honor of Earth Day, Sawaya used those same recycled bricks to build Hugman, which took more than 100 hours to create. If you look closely, you may see your child’s handwriting on one of the plastic pieces.
Make a Chelsea Day of It
After you and your kids check out the amazing art and tire of the playground, make a Chelsea day of it. Head over to Chelsea Piers (West 23rd St. & Hudson River Park) for a drop-in Rock-n-Roll class, which consists of rock climbing and gymnastics. For kids under age 5, try CP Champs, a three-hour session of trampoline, foam pit and rock climbing, as well as story time and arts and crafts.
If the kids are too tuckered out, take a quick stroll along the High Line (entrance at West 23rd St. & 10th Ave.) and drink in the beautiful views. Wander down to Chelsea Market (West 16th St. & 10th Ave.) for fruit-juice popsicles from People’s Pops (425 West 15th St.) made from shaved ice or hit Posman Books (75 9th Ave.) for your little bookworms.
Clement Clarke Moore Park
Southwest corner, West 22nd St. & 10th Ave.
Exhibition Dates: Now to May 16, 2014
Have you checked out this awesome LEGO art yet? Tell us all about it!
All Images Courtesy of Alice Perry