Get Building at the Heard Museum

July 28, 2014

The Heard Museum is a beautiful museum showcasing an excellent variety of art while fusing it with history. They offer an impressive eleven galleries that highlight a variety of exhibitions that explore American Indian culture, history and art. This summer the new director, James Pepper Henry, has taken an innovative approach to the summer months and brought an exciting family friendly and interactive exhibition entitled “BUILD! Toy Brick Art at the Heard” focusing on the timeless children’s classic toy LEGOs that have seen resurgence in popularity in part due to The LEGO Movie this past year.

The exhibition, dissected into sections including “weaving”, “LEGO garden”, “comic book”, “build your look”, “stop motion movie making”, and “LEGO Racetrack”, allows families to build and explore both figuratively and literally with LEGOs. The interactive areas offer something for every age level, such as building elaborate racecars that can be rolled down a track, making stop motion movies, or simply playing dress up. With this exhibit, the Heard continues to build bridges between cultures by focusing on engaging the community, highlighting American Indian culture, and illustrating how, through play, you can experience and enjoy art!

This exhibition also commissionedlocal American Indian, Mexican American and non-Indian artists to create works for this exhibition. Upon entering the museum, visitors are greeted by intricate models of the Heard Museum and depictions of Navajo rugs created using LEGO’s by talented LEGO artist Dave Shaddix. Local mural artist Lola Cota has painted a vivid mural depicting the Heard Museum and cars driving down Central as a backdrop for the exhibition.  Local artist Steven Yazzie built a complicated and striking coyote with assistance from his four year old son entitled “LEGO-te”. Along side this piece is a photograph of the artist building with his young son as well as a stunning painting titled “Gazers” that depicts a coyote, an animal which is important to the artist and is seen in many of his paintings. Also, well-known national brick artists created unbelievable creations including the vibrant colorful bicycles titled “Bicycle Trumps Traffic” by Sean Kenney using an astounding 93,407 LEGO brick pieces! Speaking to the tradition of weaving, there is a captivating LEGO mosaic titled “Angry Birds Tree of Life” created by Dave Shaddix which is based on the tapestry of Navajo artist Marlowe Katoney that is also currently displayed at the Heard.

“BUILD!” is a wonderful exhibition and a great way to introduce your family to the Heard Museum. This exhibition gives locals a chance to have fun with LEGO’s and encourages visitors to explore other parts of the Museum to connect and learn about American Indian culture. Don’t worry, you still have plenty of time to check out this exhibition since it will be on view through Sunday, September 28, 2014.  Admission to the museum and this special exhibition runs $23 for adults; $12.50 for students and children 6-12; $5 for children 1-5 and for American Indians; and free for children younger than 1. They also offer wonderful free-guided tours daily at 12pm, 2pm, and 3pm. The Heard Museum is located at 2301 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85004. Visit the Heard Museum website for more information.

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