Lego legacy: Build it and they will come
Saturday, September 07, 2013 8:00 PM
I love Legos and love trying to see what can be built using them. I developed my love for Legos after having sons.
As a kid growing up, I didn't have Legos from what I can remember. I was more into Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars and electronic football.
My boys can't say they didn't have Legos growing up.
There are Legos in my oldest son's room as well as in storage tubs and boxes in an upstairs closet. There are a few pieces in the basement, too.
There's a Lego space shuttle on a shelf next to a Lego gas station.
On another shelf is a Lego basketball court. On yet another shelf is a Lego soccer field. To give a more realistic feel to the soccer field and basketball court, we built a stadium for soccer and an arena for basketball.
Soccer has a place for players to sit, seats for spectators and a place for rowdy fans to stand.
The basketball arena is a little more elaborate. There are team benches, seats for spectators, a press box for broadcasters and reporters, lights, cameras and a sidewalk outside the arena wall.
I think I get more of a kick out of building the environments for the Legos than playing with them. At the time, the boys liked playing in the environments I created.
I liked to think out of the box when making places for them to play. I made an underwater world for their Lego people to live. They had a space center to launch rockets and spacecraft. There was even a moving elevator to take the astronauts to the top of the rockets.
I've been intrigued by the building and structures people have been able to create using Legos. Some of the most famous buildings in the world have been done in Legos.
One of the neatest is Yankee Stadium by Sean Kenney, who has done countless buildings and art with the plastic bricks. Besides Yankee Stadium, he did the replica of the Empire State Building that's on display in the gift shop on the observation deck at the real Empire State Building in New York City. A few years back I got to see the Kenney-built Empire State Building.
That's just so cool.
Kenney has done everything from lamps to hummingbirds, and from lily pads to portraits. That's right, you can have your portrait done in Legos.
Learn about Kenney and his work at www.seankenney.com.
Kenney isn't the only one with a knack for using Legos to create masterpieces on the small and large scale.
The High Museum of Art in Atlanta gave people a chance to help create a masterpiece based on a masterpiece it has on display. The museum at 1280 Peachtree St. NE, in partnership with Legoland Discovery Center in Atlanta, set out to recreate "Girl with a Pearl Earring" by Vermeer in Legos.
What a great idea. Even better was that visitors were able to help.
The painting is part of the "Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis" exhibit on display through Sept. 29.
The Lego version is about 3-feet by 2-feet and about six inches deep, High Museum of Art manager of public relations Marci Tate said. It has about 5,000 pieces.
The original "Girl with a Pearl Earring" is 17 1/2 inches by 15 3/8 inches.
The Lego piece reached the High Museum as a shell, Tate said, adding there was already some work done.
Two builders from Legoland and an assistant were at High Museum for the build.
Learn about the High Museum at www.high.org and about Lego at www.lego.com.
I always thought it would have been a neat idea to tie Legos in with the S.C. Festival of Flowers in Greenwood each June. It would be a neat idea to have a design competition for youngsters and adults using Legos. One thought was to use Legos to make flowers. Another was to use Legos to make art, just like the High Museum is doing.
Legos have changed through the years. If a certain shape was needed, Lego made the shape. As building with the tiny bricks became more and more sophisticated, so did the bricks.
Truth be told, there's one thing that hasn't changed. All you really need are a bunch of colored bricks, some time and a good imagination - and the fun you can come up with is endless.
Sitarz can be reached at 943-2529 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.