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Bricks aren’t just for kids: LEGO conventions attract artists, collectors

These are no ordinary LEGO builds. Some just take more imagination to understand.

But those on display Saturday and Sunday at the BrickUniverse LEGO Convention have imagination built in. Artists from around the country, including two local Kentucky LEGO artists, will display cities, trains, castles and more all constructed with tiny plastic blocks that are more than kids toys.

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Adult Fans of LEGOs have created various pieces of art to display at the BrickUniverse LEGO Convention. Pictured is a piece about the comic book series “Mouse Guard.” photo provided.

Called Adult Fans of LEGOs, the artists have over 300 groups across the country that meet, trade and build together.

Ted Andes and Jeff Cunningham, both AFOLs from Kentucky, will have their work on display at the convention. Most of the displays are pre-built for fans to admire on Saturday and Sunday. The artists will come in on Friday and take the day to set up their creations for the weekend.

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“Funhouse,” a creation by Canadian LEGO artist Paul Hetherington, who will be at the BrickUniverse LEGO Convention at the Lexington Convention Center on July 27 and 28. He’ll have a gallery of his exhibits, including his 2016 LEGO Creation of the Year exhibit “Batman vs Joker Gotham Theater Showdown,” as well as all five of his Brickcon Best in Show displays. Photo provided

According to Greyson Beights, creator and organizer of BrickUniverse, the LEGO Company estimated in 2010 that there were around 40,000 AFOLs in the world. In 2019, LEGO estimates there may be 200,000 to more than 1 million.

Beights attributes the recent increased interest in LEGOs to adults seeing the displays as an “art medium.”

“There are real artists creating real art, but instead of using paint or marble they are using LEGO bricks,” Beights said. “And what is really cool about BrickUniverse is that you can meet some of these artists and see their works at the event.”

Along with viewing LEGO displays, convention attendees can expect:

  • Various food and drink vendors.
  • Big Brick Building: young visitors build with LEGO Duplo bricks.

  • LEGO merchandise available for purchase.

  • Meet and greets with professional LEGO artists who create LEGO displays for a living.
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Kids will be able to build with large LEGOs at the convention happening in Lexington this weekend. photo provided.

On both days of the convention, there will be a morning and afternoon session. The morning session will last from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the afternoon session will last from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.

If you go: BrickUniverse LEGO Convention.

When: July 27 and 28, 10 a.m.

Where: The Lexington Convention Center.

Tickets: $18 at the door (while they last), $15 online at brickuniverse.com/lexington.

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