TAMPA (FOX 13) - Most kids think their Lego creations are masterpieces, but these Lego creations really are masterpieces. A new art exhibit, ‘The Art of the Brick,’ is opening in Tampa on Friday, featuring amazing works of art created entirely out of the iconic plastic building blocks.
The exhibit features over 120 works, ranging from Lego Mona Lisa to a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, all made of Legos.
Artist Nathan Sawaya calls it “art for the whole family.”
“I wanted to be the first artist to take this toy from my childhood – Lego bricks – but really take it into the contemporary art world,” he explained. “It’s not only that you’re seeing a lot of art that is made from this toy, but it’s art that accessible to folks. Everyone has played with Lego, so it’s relatable. Everyone can enjoy this art.”
That T-rex skeleton is one of the more intricate creations in the exhibit. Sawaya said it took him three months of working all day, every day to complete it. In the process, he learned a lesson that pretty much any young Lego fan can probably relate to.
“You need patience for this job,” he chuckled.
‘The Art of the Brick’ has toured all over the world, but it’s never been seen in Tampa. It’s here thanks to Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and his wife Penny, the second year in a row that they’ve brought a large art installation to the city.
Like ‘The Beach’ last summer, this event will also be free, Vinik explained, in hopes of inspiring young minds.
“The reason it’s free is because we want people from Tampa – families – to come down here and enjoy it,” he told FOX 13. “Penny and I really love bringing pieces of art here that haven’t been done before. Whether it was The Beach last year or to The Brick this year. These are not your normal definitions of art but we really want to inspire people that art can be anything. Creativity can be anything. Innovation can be anything.”
In addition to Sawaya’s creations, the exhibit features a build space where inspired builders can create their own works of art.
“We look forward to seeing the smiles,” Vinik added. “That’s our return on investment.”
‘The Art of the Brick’ runs from June 23 through September 4 at 802 East Whiting Street in downtown Tampa. For more details, click on over to www.artofthebricktampa.com.