• Lily flower and lily pads made of LEGO bricks — part of Nature Connects, art with LEGO bricks.

Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks

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Half-a-million LEGO bricks create giant flowers, birds, insects & more

May 27 – September 18, 2016
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

                                 Extended summer hours on Thursday nights till 9 p.m. at Flowers After 5

Exhibit and related activities included with Garden admission.

A big bumblebee weighing 60 pounds; a dramatic dragonfly with a three-and-a-half-foot wingspan; and a soaring seven-foot-tall red rose: these are just a few of the sculptures on display at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden May 27 – September 18, 2016, as part of Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks. Created with half-a-million LEGO bricks, the award-winning exhibit by New York artist Sean Kenney will feature 27 sculptures in 14 displays throughout the Garden (view a map PDF). Cost is included in regular Garden admission.
Nature Connects logo
Many of the sculptures are larger than life and highlight the interconnectivity of all living things. For example, an oversized hummingbird and flower demonstrate concepts of co-evolution. A centerpiece sculpture of an Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly, built from 37,000 LEGO pieces, draws attention to protecting the habitat of Virginia’s State Insect. There’s even a chance for guests to be part of the exhibit with a photo opportunity built into a mosaic of a garden scene.

Exhibit and related activities, exhibits and demos included with Garden admission

$13 adults
$11 seniors 55+
$8 Children (age 3-12)
Free for Children under 3
Free for Garden Members

Tickets are available at the Garden 9 a.m to 5 p.m daily, and can be bought at the door. You can also purchase tickets by phone 1-800-594-TIXX. Please note: online & phone sales require 24 hours for processing and convenience fees apply.

Scroll down to see photos and learn about build activities, exhibits and special demos.

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Bumblebee

16,383 LEGO pieces

Plants and pollinators have a unique connection. Insects collect nectar, while at the same time, provide pollination for the plant. This relationship is essential for both insect and plant to survive.
Photo: Sean Kenney Studios

Common Green Darner Dragonfly

6,535 LEGO pieces

Water is a finite resource. It has been around forever and changes form, but we cannot create more of it. The water that showered dinosaurs is the same water that dragonflies use today to breed in and drink. Water is one of the most important resources for us to safeguard as it continuously recycles itself on our planet.
Photo: Sean Kenney Studios

Rose

41,242 LEGO pieces

For centuries, people have been breeding plants to meet specific environmental or cosmetic needs, such as creating roses that are resistant to disease.
Photo: Sean Kenney Studios

Hummingbird and Flower

31,565 LEGO pieces

Beyond close and long-term interaction between different species, numerous connections are often stronger. Many species co-evolved, seen here by the shape of the tube-shaped trumpet flower which matches the long, narrow beak of a hummingbird.
Photo: Sean Kenney Studios

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

37,481 LEGO pieces

Butterfly Survey Networks have been established in many U.S. states to watch and count butterfly populations. Harmful changes in an ecosystem can be first detected by counting these easy to identify and fragile insect species.
Photo: Sean Kenney Studios

Goldfinches

5 goldfinches; 575 LEGO pieces used for each

Communication is one way animals stay connected. Communication through bird calls can be between individuals of the same species or even across species. The goldfinch continues to learn songs into adulthood and can recognize its mate by its particular tune.
Photo: Sean Kenney Studios

Bison and Calf

Mother Bison: 45,143 LEGO pieces
Calf: 16,229 LEGO pieces

The bison on the prairies of this nation’s heartland were almost eliminated when this unique prairie ecosystem was altered. It takes hundreds of years to create the rare ecosystem found in natural prairies.
Photo: Sean Kenney Studios

Germinating Acorn

15,581 LEGO pieces

Plants serve as one of the essential links in nearly all ecosystems. Plants provide food, shelter and breathable air that link all living things by being the “root” of nearly all food chains.
Photo: Sean Kenney Studios

Fox and Rabbit

Fox: 17,547 LEGO pieces
Rabbit: 1,361 LEGO pieces

These two animals represent a perfect example of how a balanced ecosystem works. Rabbits provide food for the fox, and the fox keeps rabbit populations at optimum levels to preserve their shared habitat.
Photo: Sean Kenney Studios

Lawn Mower

13,704 LEGO pieces

Many unique, fragile and important ecosystems survive in our national, state and local parks and reserves. Maintaining these habitats protects the important connections of all organisms within an ecosystem. The next time you’re tending or mowing your lawn, imagine what used to be growing and living there 200 years earlier.
Photo: Sean Kenney Studios

Water Platter and Koi

5 lily pads created with 10,598 LEGO pieces each
Lily Bloom: 1,675 LEGO pieces
Jumping Koi: 1,937 LEGO pieces
Frog: 530 LEGO pieces

An ecosystem is defined by all living and non-living objects in an area. Each ecosystem is as diverse as all the items found within it, from forest to ocean to mountain to desert, and particularly fresh water lakes and ponds.
Photo: Sean Kenney Studios

Garden Worker

37,497 LEGO pieces

Because humans are on the top of the food chain, our activities have deep rooted and often permanent impacts on our planet. Individual effort, whether through the preservation of wild lands or the simple act of responsibly tending a garden, makes a significant impact on nature.
Photo: Sean Kenney Studios

Photo Op Cut-Out

29,578 LEGO pieces

Guests can be part of the exhibit. This mosaic cut out allows people to photograph themselves as part of the display.
Photo: Sean Kenney Studios

Moth Orchid

2,300 LEGO pieces

One of the most diverse plant families on Earth is the orchid family. Each orchid has specific attributes of shape, color, size, patterns and more, which allow it to thrive in its unique ecosystem.
Photo: Sean Kenney Studios

Related Activities, Exhibits & Demos

On-Going Activities

Build Opportunities: Mosaic Building with LEGO Pieces
Daily, May 27 – September 18; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Lora M. Robins Library in the Kelly Education Center Library
Fun for all ages!

Brick Quest! 
Pick up a special edition of Brick Quest (a scavenger hunt for kids of all ages) at the admissions desk and follow the clues to six special sculptures throughout the Garden.

Build Opportunity: Good Green Fun with LEGO Bricks

June – August, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. – noon
Children’s Garden
In the “Play and Let it Stay” build area, visitors of all ages can create, tinker, take apart, build and collaborate using LEGO bricks. There will be a different nature based STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) challenge posted each week!

#LEGOutside Instagram Contest
We’ve been inspired by Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks and are celebrating all things LEGO bricks! Share your favorite photos inspired America’s favorite connecting bricks or our Nature Connects exhibit, tag your photos #LEGOutside and you’ll be entered to win a prize package.

On-Going Exhibits

 

Exhibit: Brian Korte: Botanical Mosaics with LEGO Bricks
May 27 – September 18; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Lora M. Robins Library in the Kelly Education Center
Richmond artist Brian Korte of Brickworkz LLC creates elaborate scenes with his mosaics made from LEGO pieces.

Exhibit: Building STEAM: LEGO MOC Exhibit
Daily, May 27 – September 18; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Lora M. Robins Library in the Kelly Education Center
Interesting and unique MOC (My Own Creation) displays, created by builders of all ages. See rules & details.

Special Events

Flowers After 5: Family Fun Night with LEGO® Bricks
Join us for Flowers after Five: Family Fun Night with LEGO® Bricks (Thursday, June 16) presented by the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Board of Associates. Discounted admission for non-members on June 16th only: $10 per Adult, Kids free.

Outdoor Movie Night Featuring “The LEGO® Movie”
Celebrate the end of summer and Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks by kicking back on the Rose Garden lawn and enjoying “The LEGO Movie” on Thursday, September 1 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. during Flowers After 5.

Walk and Talk: Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks  | June 28 OR July 12 OR August 4

Join your expert Guide for a tour of discovery and experience the 14 displays of playful sculptures crafted from nearly half-a-million colorful LEGO® bricks. Hear fun facts about the toy shared across generations as you enjoy making connections in the growing garden. (Click on date above for more detail and to register).

SPECIAL DEMO

VirginiaFIRST Demo
VirginiaFIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit international organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

VirginiaFIRST Robotics Challenge Team Demo Day
Saturday, July 9; 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Kelly Education Center, Auditorium
Local robotics teams will show off their custom robots and demonstrate the robots’ abilities with challenges related to eco-friendly concepts.

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