Family Picks

Family Picks: Work of world-renowned Lego artist on display in Alamance County

CorrespondentAugust 1, 2013 

Whether your kids are Lego masters or have yet to build their first creations, you won’t want to miss the free Lego art exhibit opening Saturday at the Alamance County Arts Council.

“The Art of the Brick” is a traveling show composed entirely of Lego creations, including life-sized human forms, giant animals and a replica of Mount Rushmore. The sculptures were all made by Nathan Sawaya, an internationally known artist who creates stunning works using Lego bricks.

The exhibit opens Saturday in the historic Captain White House at 213 S. Main St. in Graham, about an hour west of Raleigh. It will be there through October. The exhibit is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and there is no entrance fee.

Sawaya’s art has appeared in museums across the country and the world, but this will be its first time in North Carolina. Organizers in Alamance say they worked for years to bring it here.

Sawaya, who lives in New York City, is a former lawyer who gave up a high-powered job to pursue a passion for Lego art.

He has been commissioned to build replicas of the Iwo Jima monument, the New York City Public Library lions and a 20-foot-long Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. He has appeared on television many times, including on “The Colbert Report,” where he unveiled a life-sized sculpture of Stephen Colbert.

The Alamance Arts Council will have 29 of his works in the Captain White House, including Sawaya’s iconic “Yellow.” It is a sculpture of a man pulling open his chest to reveal a chasm filled with Lego bricks. In addition to sculptures, there will also be several portraits that hang on the walls, including the artist’s self-portrait.

In the nearby Children’s Museum of Alamance County, seven more works will be on display, including Lego replicas of jacks, crayons, baseball bats and other children’s toys. On several weekends throughout the exhibit’s run, the museum will also have special Lego-themed activities.

For more information about the exhibit and related events, go to Or to learn more about Sawaya’s work, go to

In a video about his work, Sawaya said his art speaks to children in a way that most museum pieces cannot.

“Lots of parents write me and they say, ‘Thank you. We went and saw your exhibition, the kids came home, they dug out all this Lego brick from under the bed, we haven’t seen them for three days.’ ”

Hopefully, your children will be similarly inspired.

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