The Art of the Brick Debuts at The Everhart Museum

By Mandy Boyle
Advertising Sales Manager/Entertainment Editor

The Everhart Museum is about to build up an exhibit that’s sure to get you remembering those days when you spent hours in your room playing with wonderful little plastic blocks.

The Art of Brick, a new exhibit set to open on February 5, 2010, focuses on the whimsical creations by New York-based artist Nathan Sawaya using LEGO building blocks as an art medium. The exhibit, which features 20 works created solely from standard LEGO bricks, will run until May 2, 2010, thanks to the help provided by Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, Inc., Penn Security Bank & Trust Co., and The Oppenheim Family. The Art of Brick is the only exhibition focusing exclusively on LEGO as an art medium at this time, making it a wonderful addition to the Everhart’s 2010 schedule.

According to the exhibit description, from 2002 to 2007, Sawaya used his creativity – and nearly one million colorful LEGO pieces – to create awe-inspiring sculptures that have since gained attention by some of the most popular voices in art and media.

“These works are very personal to me, since they reflect my growth as an artist as I strove to discover my creative identity,” said Sawaya in his official press release. “The museum exhibit is accessible because it engages the child in all of us while simultaneously illuminating sophisticated and complex concepts.”

“Sawaya’s ability to transform this common toy into something meaningful to capture action and movement enables him to elevate child’s play into fine art,” writes the Everhart Museum in its description of the exhibit.

According to the official release from the Everhart Museum, Sawaya has been featured on “The Today Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” and “The Colbert Report” for his legendary LEGO creations. Moreover, his works of colorful brick have been in display in major museums across the country.

“My purpose and vision of the museum tour is to inspire children young and old to explore and challenge their own creative potential,” said Sawaya in another press release. “Until now a majority of my work has been featured online at my virtual gallery,, now anyone can get up-close and share the same physical space with my art. It’s a dream come true.”

The name ‘LEGO’ is an abbreviation of the two Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well”, and as Sawaya shows, playing well can come in many forms, including an art exhibit that’s touring the nation.

This 70-year-old classic children’s toy made from ABS plastic first launched in 1958 and at the time, its interlocking principle using little tubes made it unique from any other type of building block available. Having inter connectivity meant unlimited building possibilities for those who wanted to play well and let their creativity run wild. In fact, according to The LEGO Group, there are actually more than 900 million different ways of combining six eight-stud bricks of the same color. Just think of the combinations Sawaya used to create fantastic, colorful pieces of art using only these toys as a medium.

In conjunction with The Art of Brick, the Everhart Museum will also be hosting a LEGO creation challenge of its own. Also on February 5, 2010, the museum will unveil the works of area students who were invited to create artworks inspired by real or imaginary LEGO creations. This student exhibit, which will also feature a collaboration piece known as Student Art at the Everhart: Brick Creations, aims to nurture creativity and showcase artistic excellence in the local community. The student portion of the exhibit will also run until May 2, 2010, so expect to see plenty of dazzling LEGO artwork from now until the end of the semester.

For more information about Nathan Sawaya and his LEGO creations, visit

For more information about the exhibition, visit