Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Art Of The Brick: 5 Years Later

It's been a little over 5 years since the last time Nathan Sawaya's The Art Of The Brick set up shop at the Oregon Museum Of Science & Industry in Portland, Oregon....

2012                                                      2017 

Last weekend I visited OMSI to see if, and how, The Art Of The Brick had changed in those 5 years....

Well, it had changed... it had grown, to be sure. The exhibit's square footage had increased, for one thing. And there were way more pieces to enjoy.

When I first walked into the exhibit, they had us gather in a small area. Then they made us newcomers watch a 4-minute video about Mr. Sawaya's career. I imagine this was just to stagger the crowd, but I would've preferred to just walk straight in. Guess it beats standing in line, though.

When the video concluded, we were able to walk into the first part of the exhibit, where there were a bunch of LEGO-built art replicas. Mosaics, mostly. They were neat in their own way, but... I guess I prefer "the real thing" when it comes to 2D art.

But then things got more interesting. The art started becoming three-dimensional....

For some reason, I really liked that. 

I also didn't mind Sawaya's replicas of notable statues and sculptures...

Actually, pretty much all his sculptures were impressive....

This yellow guy is one of Sawaya's iconic pieces. It's so special, it even got its own room in the exhibit! Ooooh, aaaah...

This next one was cool. You could only see The Eye if you took some steps back and looked at the piece from a certain angle.

Life-sized furniture is fun!

Overall, my favorite part of The Art Of The Brick this time around was the photography exhibit called In Pieces. For this, Sawaya and his collaborators built real-size objects out of LEGO...

Then used them as props in some really cool photographs...

I probably spent the most time in this area, looking at the life-size objects and trying to find them in the photographs. What a cool idea!

OMSI's The Art Of The Brick exhibit spanned 2 levels of the museum, and it was definitely worth the extra charge ($) to see. TAOTB will only be at OMSI through May 29th, so if you haven't seen it yet -- go. Even if you saw it when it was here in 2012, go! While a few of the pieces (sculptures, etc.) were there back in 2012, a large number of the items are new this time around. There's a wide variety and a lot of it is really impressive.

The Art Of The Brick can also currently be seen in these other locations. To find out where the exhibit(s) will travel next, check out this page.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Library, Deconstructed

The church I grew up at had a library tucked away in a room below the sanctuary. Established in the 50s, this library became home to a large, glorious mishmash of study guides, Amish romances, missionary biographies, concordances, Jesus pop-up books, and everything in between.

As a fan of vintage books, I loved hanging out at this library. Sometimes I read the books, sure. I also enjoyed playing "guess the copyright date." It may sound nerdy, but you'd be surprised how amusing this game can be... if you're me.

Another fun game? "Guess the last time this book was checked out."

Poor book's been sitting on the shelves since the LBJ presidency!

Once bustling, by the turn of the 21st century, most folks seemed to forget all about the ol' library. Each week, just a handful of loyal patrons would visit, to return a book and pick up something new.

I figured the library's days were numbered, and it turns out I was right.

Last year, the new(ish) pastor came swooping in and selectively removed about a thousand books, had them boxed, and turned them over to some loyal church members to sell over two consecutive weekends in March.

I went to that sale. 

And I took photos.

So just what kinds of books met with the pastor's disapproval, and were expunged from the church library? Let's take a look.

Uhhh let's see... bread, fish, maybe some dates. Next?

I really feel a little more effort could have gone into this cover. Ransom Note Font should look more like:
Yes. Thank you, Ransomizer. I approve.

I've got my eye on you, mustachioed Steve Jobs.

Ah, parenting books.

Parenting 80s teenagers, with their spiky hair and 3D sunglasses, couldn't have been easy.

Don't go into the light, Tommy!

Meanwhile, some disembodied heads go for a float....

The dog's like, "How come I'm the only one with a body?"

Jesus: Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive!

Hey, Kenneth G. Smith... I'm not trying to make assumptions here, but I would like to see your credentials....

This is one of those "everything (except the really juicy parts, because this is church) you need to know about puberty" books. Which the kids on the cover should've probably been given, like, 3 years ago.

"They told me these devotions were for twentysomethings, like me! Now I feel stupid."

Such shocking questions! Clearly that person needs...

Upright love is the only way. Can you even imagine bonnet lady saying, "I'm pregnant and now Freddy says he isn't sure anymore"? No. Of course not. Bonnet lady knows what "making out" is, but she'll never tell!

I think this one might have slipped into the sale via a donation, but you're in luck, I'm posting it anyway!

Please. Mother Goose ain't no fool. She knows it's no "blessing" to be chased through the village by a crazy-eyed Wee Willie Winkie. But take heart -- mere seconds from now, she's going to turn and give that boy a two-winged beatdown, and all of the Old Woman In A Shoe's kids are gonna come out and watch!

Shannon's gonna watch, too. It be a full moon, y'all.

And speaking of crazy eyes...

Those sheep will haunt my dreams, I'm sure.




Okay, now I'm thinking the pastor might've been rather wise in some of his choices.

Library liquidation: It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta to do it.