Library’s LEGO exhibit builds interest in Urbana

Around 950,000 LEGO blocks have gone into the “Art All Around Us LEGO Exhibit,” currently on display at the Champaign County Library through Oct. 29. A contest for local LEGO builders is also part of the exhibition. Photo by Marcia Callicoat
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Around 950,000 LEGO blocks have gone into the “Art All Around Us LEGO Exhibit,” currently on display at the Champaign County Library through Oct. 29. A contest for local LEGO builders is also part of the exhibition. Photo by Marcia Callicoat

City landmarks featured; Arts Council also sponsoring contest open to the public.

An exhibition is proving the colorful plastic building blocks found in schools and children’s toyboxes aren’t just kids’ stuff.

The “Art All Around Us LEGO Exhibit” has more than 950,000 blocks used to create familiar local landmarks, scenes and characters on display at the Champaign County Library, 1060 Scioto St. The exhibit is open through Oct. 29 and presented by the Champaign County Arts Council.

The display includes creations from OhioLUG, a Columbus-based group that has made the love of LEGOs into an adult hobby.

“The LEGO box says they are for ages 4-99. There’s so much you can do with them and this exhibition shows that,” Arts Council executive director Marcia Callicoat said.

Attendees can see castles, cities, resorts, buildings and other sights recreated with stunning detail. Easter eggs, hidden details and I Spy references are part of the fun in finding pop culture characters including the Simpsons, SpongeBob, Santa Claus and others, along with scenes from famous literature including “Lord of the Rings” and “Where the Wild Things Are.”

The host city of Urbana will get some love including landmarks and one of its most beloved restaurants, Crabill’s Hamburger Shoppe, captured in miniature with little details right down to the signs.

The Arts Council has sponsored LEGO exhibitions previously, but this one contains a larger scale that made partnering with the library a better choice to accommodate the scale. The exhibition is sponsored by Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. and The Grimes Foundation.

The Arts Council is also sponsoring a LEGO building contest open to the public through Oct. 25. The contest is for all ages and details are available at the Arts Council’s web page. And the entrants will be judged by an OhioLUG member Oct. 27 with prizes awarded for best work.

“They will mostly be judged on creativity, so remember that when building,” said Callicoat.

The library will also have LEGOs for visitors to build with. The idea is to get everyone interested and use the chance to explore their creative skills with the blocks.

“We hope this encourages involvement,” said Callicoat.


HOW TO GO

What: Art All Around Us LEGO Exhibit

Where: Champaign County Library, 1060 Scioto St., Urbana

When: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Admission: free

More info: www.champaigncountyartscouncil.org/

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