Kenney to inspire Ames with Lego architecture


Photo courtesy of Sean Kenney

Sean Kenney works on his Lego artwork. His work will be on display at Reiman Gardens in April.

Morgan Fleener

Lego building has become a standout childhood memory that can be forgotten as people get older. However, on April 14 and 15, families, students and visitors of the Ames community will be brought together by professional Lego artist Sean Kenney.

Going through 250,000 to 400,000 Lego pieces each year, Kenney has been creating contemporary and personalized sculptures out of Lego bricks for more than 30 years. 

Kenney will bring his talents to conduct Lego masterpieces and help install the exhibition of the 2012 Lego sculpture display at the Reiman Gardens.

Based from an institution in New York, Kenney looks forward to his visit to Iowa as he continues his lifetime dream of helping people work with Legos.

“One day I was sitting in my office in a cold-looking, quiet, boring, 40-story glass skyscraper on Park Avenue in New York, daydreaming about what beautiful architecture and bright Lego colors I would build with Lego bricks when I got home,” Kenney said. “It was about then that I realized that was exactly what I needed to do: Follow my dreams.  So I stood up, took off my tie and walked straight out, just like that, in the middle of the day.  And I never looked back.” 

Through Kenney’s work, students will engage learning in a creative and hands-on environment to help them interconnect pieces of a Lego kit and unique art creations.

Maria Witte, communications and graphic design specialist at Reiman Gardens, believes Kenney’s constructive way to teach students with Lego bricks will offer new ideas and outlooks to families, students and staff during his visit.

“Nobody ever really grows out of Legos,” Witte said. “Each display at the show will teach people how we are interconnected and how they can learn from the simple childhood toy.”

Kenney feels blessed that he is fortunate enough to be creating work he believes has impacted thousands in a positive way.

“Traditional sculptures in clay, bronze, and stone are very serious looking, but a sculpture made with Lego bricks is fun, bright and something everyone can relate to,” Kenney said. “When you look at a Lego sculpture, you understand how it was put together and maybe can imagine doing it yourself.”

Witte feels there will be a great turnout in regards to attendance for the show.

“[Reiman Gardens has] had a ton of feedback via email, social media and in person about how excited they are to attend the show,” Witte said. “I believe it will be a great turnout.”

Students can access progress reports on the sculptures by visiting the Reiman Gardens Facebook page to view sneak previews and updates on the upcoming display.

For more information about Sean Kenney or his sculptures, visit his website at