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OVER ONE MILLION LEGO® BRICKS USED TO CREATE MUST-SEE EXHIBITION AT UNION STATION

January 26, 2018

Contemporary artist, Nathan Sawaya elevates simple toy to works of art in exhibition that creates an experience filled with wonder and amazement. 

THE ART OF THE BRICK – Presented By Chase - to open this Friday at Union Station

Kansas City, MO – January 25, 2018 - THE ART OF THE BRICK, a captivating exhibition, featuring intriguing works of art made exclusively from one of the most recognizable toys in the world, the LEGO® brick, opens this Friday, January 26 at Union Station. The critically acclaimed collection of whimsical and engaging pieces is constructed using only LEGO bricks and the imagination of world-renowned contemporary artist Nathan Sawaya.

Designed to inspire ingenuity and creativity, THE ART OF THE BRICK is the world's largest and most elaborate display of LEGO art. The massive collection features original pieces as well as re-imagined versions of some of the world's most famous art masterpieces made exclusively from LEGO bricks like Van Gogh's Starry Night and Da Vinci's Mona Lisa as well as a gallery showcasing an innovative, multimedia collection of LEGO brick-infused photography produced in collaboration with award-winning photographer Dean West. 

The Art of the Brick is one of those rare experiences that’s nearly impossible to describe,” George Guastello, Union Station president and CEO, said. “It’s unexpected and inspiring. Massive and intimate. Brilliantly simple and complex all at once. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen and it’s at Union Station for only a short time.  Not since we brought Andy Warhol Portfolios to Kansas City in 2009 have we staged such an impressive art collection.”  

Blending art, science, engineering and pure imagination – and filling 10 complete galleries with over 115 masterful creations – The Art of the Brick will truly inspire and invite visitors to immediately express their own creativity in a huge hands-on build area. Additionally, the genius behind this work, Nathan Sawaya, has built a piece exclusively for and themed to Kansas City. The Art of the Brick is for everyone and every age. It’s pure creative expression in a most remarkable way.

“What a fantastic way to kick off 2018,” Bob Regnier, Union Station Board Chairman, said.  “Kansas City has a tremendous arts culture and with the current concentration and growth in the Crossroads area, this is the perfect time for Union Station to present this brilliant gallery show.  With The Art of the Brick, guests will be drawn into an absolutely fascinating world of contemporary art and astounding engineering. This really taps into the potential of imagination and power of creativity.  No wonder Union Station was just voted Favorite Family-Friendly Attraction.  This exhibition will affirm that status with each guest who experiences it.”

THE ART OF THE BRICK is the first major museum exhibition to use LEGO bricks as the sole art medium. Sawaya transforms LEGO bricks into tremendous and thought-provoking sculptures. Sawaya’s ability to transform this common toy into something meaningful, his devotion to spatial perfection and the way he conceptualizes action, enables him to elevate what almost every child has played with into the status of contemporary art.

“These works are very personal to me, since they reflect my growth as an artist as I strove to discover my creative identity,” Sawaya, said. “The exhibition is accessible because it engages the child in all of us while simultaneously illuminating sophisticated and complex concepts. Everyone can relate to the medium since it is a toy that many children have at home. But my goal with this exhibition is to elevate this simple plaything to a place it has never been before.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to get up-close with the fan favorite, Yellow, a life-size sculpture of a man ripping his chest open with thousands of yellow bricks cascading from the cavity. In addition, visitors will be able to walk around a 20-foot-long T-Rex dinosaur skeleton made out of over 80,000 bricks.

“One of the many things we do so well is engage the mind as well as the hands in informal learning offerings, especially in Science City” Jerry Baber, Union Station executive vice president and COO, said. “We know by bringing this powerful combination together, we create lasting learning moments and provide hard-to-beat entertainment options for all of Kansas City and beyond. The Art of the Brick is a perfect example of how we maintain our reputation for world-class content that’s interactive, inspiring and impactful. This will absolutely delight guests of every age and interest.  And the 2,000 sqf Build Space at the end of the exhibition will really stimulate participation and meaningful fun.”

Presented by Chase, THE ART OF THE BRICK at Union Station will be on display from January 26th through May 28th, 2018.

“With the tremendous help of partners and supporters like Chase, we are able to bring these types of world-class exhibitions to Kansas City,” Guastello, said. “I’m confident I can speak on behalf of our entire community in thanking Chase, our Presenting Sponsor of THE ART OF THE BRICK and our other valued supportersIt really speaks volumes about their commitment to elevate the opportunities available to all of us.”

“Kansas City is an important market for us, and we’re thrilled to partner with Union Station to bring this exciting new art exhibition to the community,” said Nathan Tesmer, region manager for middle market banking within JPMorgan Chase’s Commercial Bank.

Unlike some exhibitions, guests to THE ART OF THE BRICK are encouraged to take photos throughout the expansive gallery.  And Union Station officials are expecting thousands of selfies with Sawaya’s creations to find their way online.

For more information about THE ART OF THE BRICK and to purchase tickets – starting as low as $10 – visit the Union Station website here: unionstation.org/artofthebrick

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ABOUT NATHAN SAWAYA & THE ART OF THE BRICK

Former NYC corporate lawyer turned contemporary artist, Nathan Sawaya is the first artist ever to take the LEGO brick into the art world as a medium. Sawaya has earned a top position in the world of contemporary art and has created a new dimension by merging Pop Art and Surrealism in awe-inspiring and groundbreaking ways. Sawaya’s touring exhibition – THE ART OF THE BRICK® – has entertained and inspired millions of art lovers and enthusiasts around the world. CNN heralded, THE ART OF THE BRICK is one of the top ten “must-see exhibits in the world!" Sawaya is an author, speaker and one of the most popular, award-winning contemporary artists of our time. For more information visit www.brickartist.com.

Union Station Kansas City -- a 501(c)3 non-profit organization -- is a 103-year-old historical landmark and celebrated civic asset renovated and reopened to the public in 1999. Recently awarded “Favorite Attraction”, “Favorite Family Attraction” and “Favorite Historic Attraction”, the organization -- dedicated to science education, celebration of community and preservation of history -- is home to Kansas City’s internationally-awarded Science City; the new Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium; the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre; the popular Model Railroad Experience; H&R Block City Stage featuring live theater, and a selection of unique shops and restaurants. Union Station is also home to prominent area civic organizations and businesses, and regularly hosts world-class traveling exhibitions. Awarded “Top Banquet Facilities in KC” by KC Business Journal, the facility regularly hosts community events and private celebrations of all sizes. Visit WWW.UNIONSTATION.ORG for details. Also, follow us on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and YOUTUBE.