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  • The World’s Most Elaborate Display of LEGO Art Opens May 25 at Peoria Riverfront Museum

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    May 15, 2019
    Event:  “The Art of the Brick” – “The World’s Most Elaborate Display of LEGO® Art” opens
    Date & Time:  Sat., May 25, 10 a.m.
    Location:  Peoria Riverfront Museum · 222 S.W. Washington St. · Peoria, Ill.
    Cost: $18 adults, $17 students & seniors 60+, $16 youth 3-17; members get in free
    PEORIA, Ill. – The world’s most elaborate display of LEGO® art is headed to Central Illinois for the summer. “The Art of the Brick” exhibition, featuring a 20-foot-long T-Rex skeleton (80,020 bricks) reimagined masterpieces such as Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” (4,573 bricks), life-size people, super-sized objects and over 80 art works made exclusively from LEGO bricks opens May 25 at Peoria Riverfront Museum.
    Named one of CNN's top ten “Global Must-See Exhibitions,” the critically acclaimed “The Art of the Brick” is the first major museum exhibition to use one of the world’s most recognizable toys, the LEGO brick, as the sole art medium.
    The large-scale sculptures were created by New York lawyer turned artist Nathan Sawaya, who developed a new dimension of contemporary art, merging Pop Art and Surrealism and playing with the material, color, movement, light and perspective to elevate the toy to the realm of art.
    Sawaya will be at the museum Aug. 10 to give a presentation on art and the importance of creativity.
    “The Art of the Brick” features a special gallery that showcases an innovative, multimedia collection of LEGO brick-infused photography with 3D elements that Sawaya produced in tandem with award-winning photographer Dean West.
    At the end of the exhibition, visitors can create their own brick masterpieces in a hands-on, interactive LEGO brick gallery, “The Science of the Brick,” with building challenges, such as designing and racing a car, game stations and open play spaces.
    “The Art of the Brick” exhibition runs from May 25 through Sept. 2. The cost is $18 for adults, $17 for students and seniors 60+, and $16 for youth 3 to 17; members get in free.
    A special press conference and media walk-through will be held May 22, 10 a.m. in “The Art of the Brick” exhibition. CEFCU CEO Mark Spenny, museum CEO John Morris and museum curator Bill Conger will be present. Hi-res “Art of the Brick” imagery is available to members of the media.
    The Peoria Riverfront Museum gratefully acknowledges “The Art of the Brick” exhibition presenter, CEFCU, and exhibition sponsors, the Gilmore Foundation, Precision Planting and the Visionary Society. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
    For more information about the exhibition, upcoming events or the museum, call 309.686.7000 or visit RiverfrontMuseum.org

    Nathan Sawaya
    Award-winning artist Nathan Sawaya has transformed LEGO bricks into tremendous and thought-provoking large-scale sculptures, elevating the toy to the realm of art. Sawaya’s ability to transform this common toy into something meaningful and playful, 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. Previously a NYC corporate lawyer, Sawaya is the first artist to ever take LEGO into the art world and is the author of best-selling books. His unique exhibition is the first of its kind to focus exclusively on LEGO as an art medium and has broken attendance records around the globe. The creations, constructed from countless individual LEGO pieces, were built from standard bricks beginning as early as 2002. Sawaya is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, recognizing his artwork and cultural achievements.  In 2014, with the belief that "art is not optional," Sawaya founded The Art Revolution Foundation for the purpose of making art a priority in our schools and our homes. He has been a speaker at Google Zeitgeist, TEDx, Yahoo! and at the Clinton Library. For more information about Nathan Sawaya, please visit nathansawaya.com
    Peoria Riverfront Museum
    The only multidisciplinary museum of its kind in the nation, the Peoria Riverfront Museum uses art, science, history and achievement to inspire confidence, lifelong learning, and talent. Since opening in 2012, the privately funded museum has provided more than one million experiences through major exhibitions, a permanent collection, interactive galleries, a dome planetarium, giant screen theater and educational programming including curricula-related student visits. The AAM-accredited, Smithsonian-affiliated private nonprofit museum is supported by more than 4,000 members and donors, and is housed in a county-owned LEED Gold-certified building on a campus overlooking the Illinois River. The museum has been designated one of the 200 great places in Illinois by the American Institute of Architects.
    Cathie Neumiller, VP of Marketing and Communications
    (309) 863-3006