May 14, 2018 12:16 pm
Updated: May 14, 2018 8:37 pm

Science and Technology Museum unveils ‘Art of the Brick’ exhibit

ABOVE: A master LEGO builder is in Ottawa hoping to inspire with art. He left his life as high-powered New York lawyer to create amazing works with the toy we all grew up with. Mike Le Couteur reports.


If there were instruction booklets for these pieces, they’d be huge!

Around two dozen sculptures, all made of Lego bricks, were unveiled Monday as part of the “Art of the Brick” exhibit. The sculptures were designed and built by Nathan Sawaya and feature recreations of historical art pieces, original sculptures as well as a photo gallery.

The exhibit begins with a walk through history with sculptures like Michelangelo’s David, and the Venus De Milo, as well as recreations of paintings like DaVinci’s Mona Lisa and van Gogh’s Starry Night. Sawaya says that this is a great way to introduce children to art history without them getting too bored in the process.

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“This exhibit spans my entire career,” Sawaya said. “It opens the door to talk about works of art throughout history with children as it’s made from a medium they’re familiar with.”

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Sawaya did not always build Lego sculptures for a living. He was a lawyer and began building small, commissioned sculptures for customers. Once his website began being inundated with traffic he decided to do his art full time.

“A lot of people thought I was crazy,” Sawaya said.

Most of Sawaya’s original pieces feature the human form expressing some form of emotion. His most famous piece is titled Yellow and features a yellow bust of a man tearing open his chest and Lego bricks are falling out. Other pieces include a full-sized model of a Tyrannosaurus Rex made from over 80,000 bricks, a castle coming out of a pop-up book and a floating, flowing red dress.

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According to Sawaya, it takes him approximately two to three weeks to build the average human form and it takes about 15,000-20,000 bricks.

“It’s a slow process and you have to have a lot of patience,” Sawaya said. “It doesn’t happen overnight.”

The exhibit officially opens May 16 and is at the museum until Labour Day.


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