Go now. Seriously, stop what you are doing, cancel your plans, load up the kids and head to The Morton Arboretum immediately! You will thank me. Currently, Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® bricks by Sean Kenney is at The Morton Arboretum through November 1st, 2015. This is the first time the exhibit has been displayed in the area, and the only exhibition scheduled in Chicagoland. (learn more about the history and mission of The Morton Arboretum here)
Sean Kenney is the world’s first LEGO® Certified Professional. He doesn’t work for LEGO®, he makes amazing art with LEGO® bricks. He gets no special pieces or colors made, just the same pieces my kids play with — only a lot more of them! Kenney and his team used 464,770 LEGO® bricks to create the 13 awe-inspiring nature-themed displays, made up of 27 individual figures.
We left with one of Kenney’s building guides, Cool Creations in 35 pieces. We have been sorting and building almost non-stop! We were lucky to hear Kenney speak at a press event, and he emphasized creativity and doing what you love, a message I was happy for my daughter to receive.
My daughter and I had the opportunity to hear Kenney speak at a preview for the event, which brought our appreciation of his artwork to a higher level. Kenny was a funny and captivating speaker, I’d encourage you to see him and take your children should the opportunity arise. I was amazed at how authentically engaged my 6-year-old was in his formal presentation. Kenney abruptly left an average, white-collar job in New York and developed his career, albeit accidentally, as an artist and LEGO® Certified Professional.
“I have the coolest job in the world!” Nature Connects artist, Sean Kenney speaking of leaving corporate America and following his passion.
Kenney’s art is placed throughout the 1,700 acres and more than 222,000 live plants of the arboretum, including several installations in the whimsical Children’s Garden. Kenney, supported by a staff of 17, spent more than 4,170 hours (173 days!) building the pieces in the exhibit. The sculpture of the peacock is made of the most LEGO® bricks at 68,827, requiring 625 hours to build!
Tips for a great visit to Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks at The Morton Arboretum:
- Bring bug spray!
- Review the arboretum’s website to plan your visit–there are many events scheduled for the summer and so much to see.
- Download The Morton Arboretum’s app on your iPhone, or stop in the Visitor’s Center to pick up a map to ensure you don’t miss a thing.
- Allow plenty of time to spend here, with little ones it may take a while to see the arboretum.
- Wear comfortable shoes and dress to play.
- Sean Kenney’s creative building books are for sale in the Visitor’s Center, along with an assortment of of great LEGO® merchandise.
- You will have the opportunity to play with 30,000 LEGO® bricks on hand at the Arboretum throughout the exhibit’s run.
- Thursdays are a great day for families to visit the arboretum, and stick around for Family Night (through the end of August) from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
- Share your Nature Connects photos on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #natureconnectsTMA and you could win a $100 Arboretum gift card!
Editor’s note: The Children’s Garden has many water features including a small creek that kids can play in, bring a change of clothes!
Want to see the exhibt for yourself?
We have a four pack of tickets to send to one reader courtesy of The Morton Arboretum. All you have to do is comment on this post with if you have ever been and/or who you would take tot he exhibt.
No purchase necessary. One entry per person. Must be age 18 or older and have a valid e-mail address. Winner will be drawn on Sunday July 26 at 7:00 p.m. an notified via e-mail. Winner has 48 hours to respond or forfeits tickets.
Disclosure: Writer received free admission and a gift back to attend the medium preview of the Nature Connects exhibt. All thoughts and opinions belong to the writer.