The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center’s 14th Annual LEGO Contest and Exhibit is back again this year.

Creators of all ages were invited to partake in a contest to design and build their own original LEGO sculptures and submit them to be judged and displayed at the museum from November 11 through 14. This event is sponsored by G.S. Precision, Brattleboro Subaru and Don Robinson Builder.

This yearly event is “the brainchild of Executive Director, Danny Lichtenfeld,” Kirsten Martsi, manager of the Education and Community Engagement Programs explained. “He thought it would be a good idea and a fun thing for the community, and it was a great way to involve kids.”

The contest and exhibit are not just for kids though. “Anybody is welcome to build a sculpture, we just have different age groups for the judging,” Martsi said. “The age range is anywhere from pre-K through adult, but most of their entries are from children in grades 3 through 5.”

In a normal year, BMAC has seen around 100 submissions, though last year was at 85. Martsi noted that the lower participation numbers they had last year are most likely due to COVID-19 and the pandemic.

The deadline for entry into the contest and exhibit was on Monday, November 8. The guidelines state that all entries must consist primarily of LEGO, Duplo, Mega Bloks, or other LEGO-compatible plastic bricks and related pieces. They also must be original designs and creations. Using kits or LEGO instructions is prohibited, but gluing was permissible.

Last year’s awards ceremony was fully remote via Zoom, but this year BMAC had decided to do a hybrid approach and offer an in-person ceremony, with the option of attending via Zoom if unable to visit the museum.

The ceremony was held yesterday evening at 5:30 p.m. A panel of judges awarded prizes based on creativity and craftsmanship in six age groups: preschool, grades kindergarten through 2, 3 through 5, 6 through 8, 9 through 12, adult, and adult/child collaborations. Every contestant received a personalized certificate of participation.

Included in this year’s exhibit will be pieces done by two different LEGO builders, Andy Price and Christian Stromberg. These sculptures will not be part of the contest, but they will be part of the show. “Andy’s (sculpture) is going to be a 3 feet by 6 feet footprint within the museum. These are going to be really big, impressive LEGO sculptures,” Martsi said enthusiastically.

Entries from past years have included a replica of BMAC, an amusement park, a model of Brattleboro’s Harris Hill ski jump, and a working pinball machine. “Every year we have a lot of really exciting sculptures of LEGO pieces really showcasing the area’s creativity and especially the creativity of the young people around here. We’re excited to see what people bring,” Martsi said.

Founded in 1972, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center has six galleries and they currently have seven other exhibits on display not including this LEGO exhibit: “Vermont Glass Guild: Inspired by the Past,” through March 5, 2022; “Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers: Evolving Traditions,” through February 13, 2022; “William Ransom: Keep Up/Hold Up,” through March 5, 2022; “Michael Abrams: Arcadia Rediscovered,” through March 5, 2022; “Natalie Frank: Painting with Paper,” through February 13, 2022; “B. Lynch: Pull Back the Curtain,” through February 13, 2022; and “Delita Martin: Between Worlds,” through May 2022.

BMAC is in the historic Union Station in downtown Brattleboro, at the intersection of Main Street and Routes 119 and 142. They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is on a “pay-as-you-wish” basis. Masks and social distancing are required. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call 802-257-0124 or visit brattleboromuseum.org.

BMAC is supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Allen Bros. Oil, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, C&S Wholesale Grocers, the Four Columns Inn, Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters, and Whetstone Station Restaurant & Brewery.


-

-
-