The Art of the Brick {Perot Museum}

Our family is a huge fan of LEGOs.  They are a great tool for STEM education and creative expression but they are also just plain fun.  We were really excited to get the opportunity to go to the Perot Museum's new traveling exhibit, The Art of the Brick.  

The critically acclaimed exhibition touts the largest and most elaborate display of works constructed using only LEGO bricks. Created by internationally renowned contemporary artist Nathan Sawaya, The Art of the Brick is designed to inspire ingenuity and creativity with original pieces and re-imagined versions of some of history’s most famous works of art, including Van Gogh's Starry Night, Michelangelo’s David and Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring. It was amazing getting to hear directly from Nathan Sawaya

Dr. Linda Silver, Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer of the Perot Museum. “LEGO bricks are a beloved learn-through-play staple in so many children’s lives. The exhibition elevates a classic toy into the interesting realm of art and science resulting in something meaningful, educational and awe-inspiring.”

The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Hokusai.  It was built using 2,877 LEGO bricks and it is three-dimensional like the wave is just going to flow off of the wall.

No one can mistake this LEGO creation!  It is, of course, Starry Nights by Vincent Van Gogh built with 3,493 LEGO pieces.

AAAAAHHHHHHH!  There are 3,991 LEGOs making this amazing representation of the painting The Scream by Edvard Munch.  

American Gothic by Grant Wood. 8,303 LEGOs are in this creation.

Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci was made with 4,573 LEGO pieces.

This one looks a little blocky when up close but step back from the screen a little or try squinting your eyes.  It is unmistakably Rembrandt's self portrait recreated with 1,948 LEGOs.

This next creation is so unique!  It is a translucent LEGO creation of the Northern Rose Window at Chartres. It is comprised of 17,842 LEGO pieces.  Although the number of LEGO pieces used is quite astounding, what we really remarkable is the image on the floor below it.  How beautiful!

Whistler's Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1. It is made with 15,283 LEGO pieces.

Rachel was disturbed by the mostly naked LEGO statues in the next room.  I think my jaw dropped for other reasons.  Look at these amazing works of art....built from LEGO!

You can not possibly miss the looming head tucked away in the corner of the room!

Nefertiti was made with 1,675 LEGO pieces.

I didn't catch the name of this piece but I loved how the water droplets seem to pop out from the wall.

This amazingly huge piece is a self-portrait of Nathan Sawaya in LEGO!

Rachel enjoyed the entire exhibit but she was a bit entranced by the giant T-Rex made from 80,020 LEGO bricks!

We got a chance to talk to the incredible artist Nathan Sawaya.  

The next time you go to the Perot, check out the LEGO Pegasus that greets you at the door.  Guess how many LEGO were used to create this beauty and you could win a one year membership to the Perot!

If you would like to learn more about this amazing LEGO artist you can follow Nathan Sawaya on Facebook.

The Perot Museum is located at 2201 N. Field Street in Dallas, Texas. Museum general admission is $20 for adults (13-64), $13 for youth (2-12) and $18 for seniors (65+). Museum general admission is free for members. Children under 2 are always free. The Art of the Brick requires a surcharge of $10 for adults (13-64) and seniors (65+), $8 for youth (2-12) and free for children under 2. Member tickets are $7 for all age levels.   For ticket information, parking maps and other details visit

The Zamboni Experience

We are a hockey/figure skating family.  We spend all of our time at the ice rink and everyone there knows us.  Although we've seen it a zillion times, we still enjoy watching the Zamboni ride around the rink as it smooths out the ice between hockey games and skating sessions.  Last year Stuart mentioned several times that he would love to drive the Zamboni, just one time.  It was a "Bucket List" item for him.  So for his birthday this year I asked around and found out that our ice rink offers a "Zamboni Experience"!

I told Stuart that he had to take the day off of work for a birthday experience but I didn't tell him what he was doing.  I made him wear a blindfold while I drove him a round about way to the rink. 

When we were almost to the ice rink, we gave Stuart a little hint of what he was going to do.  It was a little toy Zamboni but he had to keep his blindfold on and just feel the toy to try to figure it out.  It took him just a few minutes to guess what it was but he still didn't understand what we were going to do.

He was pretty excited when he learned about his birthday surprise!  But we were going to get a tour of the Zamboni Room and learn all about the machine before he would get to drive it.  I think he was happy about this because I think he had gotten a little queasy from the long blindfolded ride with me driving and needed to let his stomach settle before driving heavy machinery.  I might have made the drive a little too long but I wanted to get him completely turned around so he wouldn't know where we were going!  

We have never been in the Zamboni Room so we were all excited to get a chance to go behind the scenes.  The Zamboni expert was on hand to teach us everything we might ever want to know about Zambonis.

Here it is!  The coveted driver seat of the Zamboni!  
(*Insert angels signing in the background*) 

The Zamboni was patented in 1928 and was name after Frank Zamboni.  This particular Zamboni runs on propane fuel and has a Volkswagon engine.  As it resurfaces the ice, it can remove around 2,500 pounds of compacted snow while it can leave behind about 1,500 pounds of water.  The blade on the machine weighs 57 pounds and is 1/2 inch thick.

Fascinating facts.  But ok.  Enough chit-chat.  Let's do this!

Here is a video of Stuart's first time driving the Zamboni around the rink.  He was not spraying water and the blade wasn't down.  This lap was just to get the hang of driving the behemoth.  

Look at that smile!  I think he was having a pretty good time!

Now let's spray some water and actually smooth the ice.  Here's another video of Stuart actually resurfacing the ice.  Look at the nice shine on the ice!

That's some professional looking ice right there!

The kids were hoping that they would get a chance to ride along with Daddy.  And they did!!  Rachel went first.

Here's a video snippet of Rachel's Zamboni ride.  She was so excited!

Then we were all surprised when the Zamboni guy told Nicholas that he didn't get to just ride on the Zamboni but instead he was going to DRIVE the Zamboni!  We quickly told him Nicholas' age just to be sure he understood that he doesn't even have a drivers license yet but he was still cool with him driving!  
Of course, here is a video of Nicholas driving a Zamboni.  He was nervous but he did really well.  It's pretty neat that he has driven a Zamboni and flown an airplane before getting his drivers license!

We were all sad when the time was up but Stuart was still grinning from ear to ear.  

Bucket List item: Drive a Zamboni.  Check!

Happy birthday to the "World's Best Zamboni Driver"!