The Norton Museum of Art’s summer season is highlighted by “Block by Block: Inventing Amazing Architecture,” an exhibition of landmark buildings made from Lego bricks. The exhibition is now open and will be on view through Sunday, Oct. 20.
The Norton is offering free admission to Florida residents every Thursday during June, July and August.
“Block by Block” is accompanied by the exhibition “Architecture in Detail: Works from the Museum Collection,” which features architecture-inspired paintings, works on paper and photography by legendary artists such as Stuart Davis, Andreas Feininger, John Marin, Addison Mizner and Vic Muniz. It is a wonderful opportunity to view some works that are rarely on display because of their sensitivity to light. “Architecture in Detail” is curated by Ellen E. Roberts, Harold and Anne Berkley Smith curator of American art, and Tim B. Wride, William and Sarah Ross Soter curator of photography.
For “Block by Block,” the Norton commissioned Dan Parker, a Seattle-based, Lego-certified professional, to construct the landmarks, which range from 4 to 9 feet tall and include One World Trade Center in New York, the Seattle Space Needle, Burj Khalifa in Dubai and Taipei 101 in Taiwan, among others. Parker is one of only 13 people outside the company authorized as a professional builder of all things Lego.
Parker joined Norton curatorial assistant Maggie Edwards for a Curator’s Conversation on June 20 and will return on Aug. 8 for a family block party to lead a group build. The exhibition is curated by Edwards.
“Block by Block” includes a play area where visitors can create their own architectural marvels. The museum has planned plenty of programming that encourages kids to be creative, enjoy building with Legos and celebrate the art of architecture.
Related free programs include DIY for Kids on Thursday nights from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The schedule is as follows:
• July 11, Higher and Higher — Visit the special exhibition “Block by Block: Inventing Amazing Architecture” to learn about the characteristics of some unique skyscrapers from around the world. Then, let your imagination soar and build your own model skyscraper using paper straws, corrugated panels and tape.
• July 25, I Love NY — View the intriguing city images in “New York Mural” by Stuart Davis. Follow it up by joining your peers in the classroom, where you’ll form your own unique city skyline from foam shapes. Connect your creation to other renditions and watch the skyline take form.
• Aug. 1, A Perfect View — Visit “Block by Block: Inventing Amazing Architecture” to discover architectural elements that make a building functional and unique. Afterward, head to the classroom to create a special window to “frame” your personal, magical view on the world in oil pastels.
• Aug. 8, Family Block Party — Parker will discuss Lego bricks as an art medium and lead a group build during the party.
The Norton Museum of Art is a major cultural attraction in Florida, internationally known for its distinguished permanent collection featuring American art, Chinese art, contemporary art, European art and photography. The museum is located at 1451 S. Olive Ave. in West Palm Beach, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on Mondays and major holidays.
General admission costs $12 for adults, $5 for students with a valid ID, and is free for members and children age 12 and under. Special group rates are available. Palm Beach County residents receive free admission the first Saturday of each month with proof of residency.
For more information about the exhibit “Block by Block: Inventing Amazing Architecture,” call (561) 832-5196 or visit www.norton.org.
ABOVE: Dan Parker works on a Lego replica of the Space Needle for the exhibit “Block By Block.”