The LEGO Movie isn’t the only thing those little plastic bricks are up to these days. From November 14 to February 14, 2016, the Mounts Botanical Garden will be overrun by larger-than-life LEGO sculptures with the exhibit “Nature Connects: Art with LEGO Bricks.” Imagine strolling through a meticulously manicured flower bed, when low and behold, a gigantic eight-foot tall hummingbird sits frozen mid-flight, looking like an eight-bit scene from an early-generation video game.
Located near the Rainbow Garden bordering Lake Orth, the peacock sculpture took an astounding 68,827 LEGO bricks to create.
The brainchild of New York-based artist Sean Kenney, 15 different sculptures making up 13 different displays will be strategically placed throughout Mounts’ 15 acres. Each standing between five and eight feet tall, the sculptures took nearly a half million LEGO bricks to complete. And before you jump to the conclusion that these are some elaborate LEGO kit, each sculpture is made from standard LEGO bricks and spurred entirely from Kenney’s mind, snapped together brick by brick. The first certified LEGO sculptor, of which there are now 13, Kenney travels the world constructing displays, signs, sculptures, even furniture and home accessories out of the bricks. His series of books has made him quite the celebrity in the world of LEGO with a pretty big following with the wee tykes, and burgeoning architects and engineers.
Setup in The Pines, Mounts’ pine thicket, the “Family of Deer” installation features a buck, doe, and fawn, taking a combined 84,442 LEGO bricks to create (46,563 for the buck; 37,879 for the doe and fawn).
The displays set up in the Mounts Botanical Garden take a page straight from nature. Stroll in the company of a gargantuan Galápagos tortoise, spy a family of deer, be amazed by the beautifully depicted peacock that took an astounding 68,827 LEGO bricks to create, and flit along with an intricately designed Monarch butterfly—there are even sculptures of gardeners and gardening tools. Along with the sculptures, there will be signage to discuss the subject’s importance in the natural world and the interconnectedness of the ecosystem, complete with fun facts about the animal or plant, and the bricks used in the creation. Be sure to check with the visitors’ center before embarking on the LEGO scavenger hunt and pick up a locator map.
- Admission to the exhibit costs $10 for adults; $7 for seniors, veterans, and studetns; and $5 for children. For more information about “Nature Connects: Art with LEGO Bricks,” visit mounts.org.
Located near the Mounts’ Teaching Shelter and tranquil gazebo, the creepily fascinating “Corn Spider” sits. Made with 16,492 LEGO bricks, this sculpture will leave an impression.
For the LEGO fan and little builders in the clan, here are a few important dates to mark on the calendar.
- On Friday, November 13, Mounts Botanical Garden will host an exhibition preview for MBG members from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., complete with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by dinner and dancing.
“Nature Connects” opens to the public on Saturday, November 14 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Just in time for the holidays, Mounts wants to see how you flex your LEGO muscle. Create your own garden-themed holiday ornament out of LEGOs for the Nature Connects Ornament Contest. Drop off your creation at the Mounts Garden Shop through November 25 to be entered. Finalists will be announced on December 5 with a social media voting campaign running through January 2016.
Throughout the exhibition run, Mounts will hold a series of Bricks 4 Kidz Workshops designed to spark the imagination. Admission costs $15 to participate. The dates are as follows: November 21 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; December 19 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; January 2 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; January 14 from 10-11 a.m. (Preschool Workshop); February 11 from 10-11 a.m. (Preschool Workshop); and February 13 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Does Nature Connects give you a hankering to play with some LEGOs? Join the block-building fun with Mounts’ LEGO Brick Challenge Community Build, designated days, sponsored by community partners, giving the power of the brick to the community. These free events will be scheduled throughout the exhibition run. Dates are as follows: December 12 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; December 12 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Boynton Beach Barnes & Noble; January 23 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.; and February 7 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
On December 21, join Palm Beach County students and the 4-H Tech Wizards for a live demonstration and presentation on LEGO Robotics. The teachable lab helps develop knowledge and skills geared toward STEAM, with children exploring real-world applications of technology. Admission costs $25, $15 for members.
On January 5 at 10 a.m., join conservation advocate James Currie for the Connecting with Nature Lecture “Last of the Great Tuskers: Saving the World’s Largest Elephants.” Admission costs $5.
“Everything is awesome” on Saturday, January 6 from 12-2 p.m., when Mounts screens The LEGO Movie. Bring the picnic blankets for this rollicking brick adventure.
- On Tuesday, January 12, meet LEGO artist Sean Kenney at the garden for a book signings and more.