A LEGO creation crafted by McClain junior Nick Jones has been chosen to be a part of The Art of the Brick, an exhibit including more than 100 LEGO creations at the Cincinnati Museum Center.
According to Jones’ teacher, Haley Lovett, the autistic 16-year-old is really good at building things. And when Lovett was on the Internet searching for something fun for the class to do, she came across a contest for the museum and a chance for the winners’ creations to be a part of the exhibit.
“You have to do this, Nick,” she said she told Jones at the time.
While most of the exhibit is pieces made by contemporary artist Nathan Sawaya, there are inclusions such as Jones’, the winners of monthly contests presented by the museum as a way to encourage the creativity of the young and old.
Jones built a train, but not from a kit, Lovett said. He chose his pieces from a huge pile of random LEGOs that covered two tables. And she said it didn’t take him long to make his vision a detailed, three-dimensional reality.
The meticulously-crafted train, which Jones was quick to show, rolled smoothly on its wheels, has a horn, lights, a crane, a green flag billowing above a walkie talkie-holding engineer hanging onto the side of the train, two engineers inside the engine, and coming from the smoke stack is a trail of stmoke constructed of varying hues and sizes of gray bricks.
“He’s just so talented at building things,” said his teacher.
But he is also really good at drawing. His favorite things to draw and build, Lovett said, are ships. She pulled out a book of Jones’ work and as she flipped through the pages, detailed and precise renderings of the RMS Titanic, the RMS Olympic, and the HMHS Britannic were revealed. A colorful space shuttle affixed to massive booster rockets that provide the power to launch into space even jumped from those pages.
Lovett said Jones can look at a picture and produce one of his drawings “in no time at all.”
His vision is quickly executed when he’s building with the LEGOs, too, she said. While Jones said he built the train in two days, Lovett said he actually had it completed in a few hours. But Jones is perfectionist, she said, so he would take the train apart to make sure everything was just as he wanted it.
His imagination and creativity are what spurred Lovett to encourage Jones’ participation in the challenge.
Once the train was completed a photo was submitted, and Lovett said she got a call last Tuesday that Jones’ train was chosen.
“He’s just so excited.” Lovett said.
She said that the next day she brought in pizzas, something special for the students to enjoy when she made the announcement.
“I told him he was famous,” Lovett said. “And he is to us.”
Lovett will deliver Jones’ train to the museum this week, she said, and the train will remain on display at the museum for the duration of the exhibit.
The Art of The Brick exhibit is the “world’s largest display of LEGO art,” the museum’s website says. The exhibit will run through May 1, 2016. For more information on the museum’s location, hours, and ticket prices go to cincymuseum.org.
“I’m just so excited that he gets to experience something like this,” Lovett said.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.