VERO BEACH ― McKee Botanical Garden has a way of creating magical experiences out of simple tools. With the return of Sean Kenney's Nature Connects, Made with LEGO Bricks exhibit, the garden has hit another home run.

The exhibit runs from Nov. 13 through April 25, 2021.

As with his previous exhibits at McKee, Mr. Kenney has created beautiful works of art from the simple toy blocks most of us played with as children. His masterpieces explore animal endangerment, the balance of ecosystems, and our relationship with nature.

The overall theme of the exhibit, Mr. Kenney said, is “just as LEGO bricks interconnect, how is our natural world interconnected?”

Sean Kenney has created LEGO sculptures for television, celebrities, tourist attractions, galleries, museums, and Fortune 500 companies. His exhibit features over 300,000 LEGO bricks. Some of the sculptures require over 60,000 LEGOs; others just a few thousand.

Sculptures include a dodo bird, a jeweled chameleon, a zebra, a honeybee, and a monarch butterfly. All were built with regular, off-the-shelf LEGOs, using only the basic rectangular and flat bricks. Each took hundreds of hours to create.

While Sean Kenney doesn't work for The LEGO Company and is not affiliated with them in any way, he is considered their best customer. In 2005 Mr. Kenney became the first person in the world who the company offered a bulk purchase account.

Mr. Kenney begins his creative process by sketching ideas on graph paper. The sculptures are assembled using a solvent like that used to meld PVC pipe, which provides support and balance. The completed sculptures are mounted to steel bases.

“Sculptures and portraits are more than just accurate shapes,” Mr. Kenney said. “They have to capture the essence of the original; they have to have a spark, a spirit, a life.”

Mr. Kenney likes his sculptures to be playful, saying “art doesn't have to be so serious all the time.”

Sean Kenney's Nature Connects, Made with LEGO Bricks can be seen Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sun., noon-5 p.m. The last admission ticket is sold at 4 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $13 seniors and youth ages 13-17, $10 children ages 2-12. McKee members and children under two admitted free.

McKee Botanical Garden is located at 350 US Highway 1, Vero Beach. For more information, call (772) 794-0601 or visit www.mckeegarden.org.

For more information about artist Sean Kenney, visit www.seankenney.com.

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