News Column

LEGO launches at History Center

June 30, 2014

By Nathan Payne, The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Mich.

June 30--TRAVERSE CITY -- Scot Thompson is an artist, and last week his canvas was an array of dozens of flat LEGO base plates.

A lake of blue, tan and green pieces sprawled in front of Thompson across a handful of folding tables inside the upstairs gallery at the History Center of Traverse City. The accomplished LEGO builder snapped hundreds of tiny, round, gray bits into place to form cobblestone paths between a handful of houses situated near the center of the tiny world.

The little details are the ones people really notice, Thompson said.

It took Thompson and his family more than eight hours to piece together "Maybe up to 250,000" LEGO blocks that form one of two large displays at the History Center's summer exhibit. Some of the larger parts, like the dozen pirate ships and medieval houses, Thompson constructed at his home in Bay City.

A tree-covered mountain towered more than three feet above the center of the scene while Thompson clicked more of the world's components into place.

"It's a lot of fun to build in little challenges for kids," he said. "At the end of last year, they asked for a pirate-themed layout this year."

Thompson's part of the exhibit includes a handful of recognizable characters that break from the pirate theme, in addition to dozens of ships and houses. He included Emmet, the plastic-bodied star of the hit "The Lego Movie," floating on his double-decker couch somewhere in the scene.

The exhibit also will include a 9-foot-long freighter and 10-foot-long canal and locks constructed by artist Dan Parker.

A "live build" will take place July 11, when exhibit patrons can help the artists construct a lake-themed mural of LEGO. The exhibit launches July 1 and runs through Sept. 1. The museum at 322 Sixth Street is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Admission costs $5 and children 4 and younger are free.


(c)2014 The Record-Eagle (Traverse City, Mich.)

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Source: Record-Eagle, The (Traverse City, MI)

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