The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The Art of the Brick: The world’s largest display of LEGO art returns to The Franklin Institute

Gina Park (’26)
One of the Lego displays at the exhibit.

At the world’s largest display of LEGO art at The Franklin Institute, a new dimension—merging Pop Art and Surrealism— takes form, brick by brick. Created by renowned contemporary artist Nathan Sawaya, The Art of the Brick is a captivating exhibition that showcases over 100 works of LEGO art, including a Philadelphia-exclusive creation. Returning to The Franklin Institute for the first time since 2015, the exhibition includes a multi-exhibit hall, featuring themes of construction, deconstruction, metamorphosis and transformation. The exhibit also includes an interactive hands-on building space, where different LEGO stations are set up for family-friendly activities. The exhibition at The Franklin Institute will run through September 2, 2024.

“These exhibitions are accessible because they engage the child in all of us while simultaneously illuminating sophisticated and complex concepts,” said Sawaya.

Nathan Sawaya is a New York-based artist who uses LEGO bricks as a medium for the awe-inspiring artwork he creates. He is the first artist to use toy LEGO bricks, and his exhibition, The Art of the Brick, is a multiple global touring museum exhibition that has become internationally acclaimed for the combination of LEGO bricks and art. His exhibitions include large-scale sculptures and life-like installations that have been carefully crafted to display different aspects of pop culture and contemporary art. As an award-winning contemporary artist, Sawaya’s distinctive and ground-breaking art methods continue to push boundaries and bring together different genres of art. Sawaya creates original pieces that “consist of playing with the material, color, movement, light and perspective,” as well as recreations of some of the world’s most famous sculptures and paintings with thousands of LEGO bricks.

The Franklin Institute exhibition of The Art of the Brick is comprised of several themed rooms and environments including Paint by Bricks, The Sculpture Garden, Metamorphosis, The Human Condition, and Through the Darkness. The pieces exhibit different eras, ranging from Impressionism to Art Nouveau to Pop Art.

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Visitors have the opportunity to get an up-close view of Sawaya’s recreations of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, as well as Decisions, a new original installation that boasts 112,000 LEGO pieces. PERNiCiEM: The Endangered Species Connections, an exhibition that takes part in Nathan Sawaya and Dean West’s IN PIECES, is a collaboration featuring Sawaya’s brick sculptures and West’s hyper realistic photography. PERNiCiEM is a gallery exhibition that showcases a collection of LEGO brick-infused photography, and the two artists incorporate different art mediums to bring attention to the environment and some of its most endangered species.

Guests can view “Yellow,” one of Sawaya’s most iconic and well-known sculptures, which depicts a human figure ripping open its chest with thousands of yellow bricks spilling out of the cavity. Additionally, a 20-foot-long T-Rex LEGO dinosaur skeleton is included in the exhibition, along with a LEGO recreation of Frida Kahlo’s The Frame. Sawaya’s original pieces range from sculptures of miscellaneous objects such as Grey Bucket to towering sculptures like the LEGO Moai. Commissioned exclusively for The Franklin Institute, a life-sized statue of Benjamin Franklin wraps up the art exhibit.

“The Art of the Brick takes LEGO somewhere you wouldn’t expect and shows you things you have never seen before. The goal with this collection of art is to demonstrate the potential of imagination and the power of creativity,” said Sawaya.

In addition to the 100-plus LEGO creations, the exhibit at The Franklin Institute offers a 9,000-square-foot LEGO play space to encourage the idea that creativity is universal and that anyone, even young children, has the potential to become an artist.

Through Sawaya’s work as a LEGO artist, he elevates a simple toy to the status of fine art. His ability to transform something almost every child has played with into sophisticated and complex structures is like no other. The Art of the Brick exhibition showcases his artistic prowess, captivating audiences of all ages and creating new dimensions in the world of art.

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