Art and Dragons, August 2022

Houston Brick Club members participated in two activities in August, 2022. On August 6, four members spent the day at Dragon’s Lair, a local comic and gaming store. Club members displayed MOCs and talked with visitors about LEGO®, Houston Brick Club, and Brick Rodeo.

On August 13, ten Club members were at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in Spring, Texas. This small museum has been running an exhibit of custom models built from LEGO® bricks this summer. On this day, Club members organized public building activities.

Earlier this year, The LEGO Group sent several thousand 2×4 bricks in assorted colors to LEGO® User Groups around the world. This generous gift was in honor of the company’s 90th anniversary being celebrated this year. Houston Brick Club brought these bricks to the museum where visitors (adults and children) created a wide assortment of builds – flowers, characters, a pyramid and sphinx, and much more. With the guidance of Club members, some visitors built larger bricks from the 2×4 bricks; these larger bricks were then combined into two large towers.

Another activity today was a presentation by Club member and brick artist Tim Hutchings. He talked about his art background and how he uses that to create models such as “Desert Mountain Landscape,” on display at the museum.

The museum had about 400 visitors today, about double their usual Saturday attendance. Attendance for this exhibit of LEGO® artwork and models has far exceeded any summer exhibit they have put on.

Houston Brick Club would like to thank The LEGO Group for their generosity and support, and we would like to thank the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Art for the opportunity to share our love of LEGO® bricks with their visitors.

Brick Rodeo 2022

Brick Rodeo was held June 30-July 3 at the Renaisssance Marriott in Austin, Texas. Over 50 Houston Brick Club members attended as full convention members or public visitors.

Many Club members were recognized for their fantastic builds, including Steve Laughlin receiving “Best in Show” for his large Fabuland display. Other Club honorees were Don Seibert, Jason Maggitti, Valerie Maggitti, Brian Costello, Alexander Harber, Peter Myers, Greg Jonason, Robert & Eloise Roche, Patrick Frain, Jeff Schroeder, Ethan Dungan, Noah Sher.

Keynote speakers Richard Board and Flynn DeMarco (“Tricky Bricks” on social media, and contestants on season 1 of the LEGO® Masters TV show) talked about their brick-building journey over the last few years. They also met with the public and led an exciting building challenge game.

Brick Rodeo featured 12,000 square feet of custom-built models made from LEGO® bricks. Many vendors were present to sell a variety of parts, minifigures, new and used sets, and other related merchandise. Convention members spent Thursday and Friday setting up displays, playing games, attending workshops, and socializing. Public visitors arrived on Saturday and Sunday.

Next year’s Brick Rodeo will be July 6-9, 2023, at the Houston Marriott Sugar Land. Sign up for email newsletter at brickrodeo.com, and follow Brick Rodeo on social media for information.

LEGO® Exhibit at Art Museum.

This summer, a small Houston-area art museum is showing an exhibit of custom models built from LEGO® bricks. Several members of Houston Brick Club, in addition to other brick artists, have builds on display.

The Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts contacted Houston Brick Club at last year’s Brick Rodeo. From there, a partnership was created where the Club helped find artists to contribute built models to the exhibit. Artists include members of Houston Brick Club, TexLUG, and Texas Brick Railroad; plus two contestants from the LEGO® Masters TV show (Moto and Dawn); and brick artist Jonathan Lopes.

Artwork on display includes: mosaics, architectural models, pop culture characters, realistic reproductions of cars, and much more. Houston Brick Club’s model of downtown Houston is on display in a fully completed state for the first time.

Moto, a contestant from season 2 of LEGO® Masters, came from out of town in person to set up his highly technical spaceship model. He spent all of opening day at the museum talking with visitors and answering questions about his experience on the show.

The museum also provided a play area for public visitors. This area has a “graffiti wall” – baseplates mounted to a wall where anyone can put bricks up, mosaic-style. It also has several bins of loose LEGO® and Duplo® bricks for free building. This area has continued to be popular during exhibit hours.

The opening day of this exhibit attracted the largest crowd the museum had ever seen at an opening day. Attendance has continued to be well above normal since then. Houston Brick Club is thrilled to be part of this exhibit that combines the both the “fine art” and “play” characteristics of the LEGO® brick.

The exhibit runs June 4 – September 3, 2022, at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Art in Spring, Texas. More information can be found at pearlmfa.org.

Downtown Houston, by Houston Brick Club

Desert Mountain Landscape, by Tim Hutchings
Here Comes the Sun, by Dawn Sloboda. Life’s a Reef, by Steve and Lili Laughlin
Mr. Frumble’s Pickle Car, by Jonathan Lopes. Michael Kanemoto talking about his Chrysalis 2.

Cars, by David Slater.

Donating LEGO® sets

Once again, Houston Brick Club partnered with Fairy Bricks to provide donated LEGO® sets to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Fairy Bricks provided 6 large boxes of new LEGO® sets, and the Club delivered them to the hospital.

Houston Brick Club wants to thank both Fairy Bricks and Texas Children’s Hospital for all the great things they do. Hopefully we can start doing displays and other activities at the hospital again soon!

Spring Meetings

Houston Brick Club has returned to in-person meetings this year. On March 19, 26 members met at the LEGO® Brand Retail Store in Willowbrook Mall to shop, discuss upcoming activities, and generally socialize. Thanks to the store for opening early and allowing us to use their space!

On April 30, 14 members met at Space Cadets Collection in The Woodlands. The store provide bulk used LEGO® parts for Club members to look through and buy. The final unfinished sections of our Micro Houston build were shown, and we talked about Brick Rodeo and other upcoming activities. Thanks to Space Cadets for letting us meet there!

April – May events

Houston Brick Club had two events at area schools recently. On April 9, seven members took part in Bookapalooza at Dulles High School in Sugar Land. This event was created by the school as “a place where students can have fun and connect with each other to share their love of comics, books, manga, anime, and writing.” Club members presented displays of MOCs, included a number of motorized and hands-on Technic builds. Approximately 900 public attendees were present.

On May 13 and 14, 2022, Club members attended Father-Daughter and Mother-Son dances at West U. Elementary School. The Club was invited by a mother and son who had attended last year’s Brick Rodeo and wanted a LEGO® theme for this event. Five Club members diplayed MOCs such as large mosaics, a castle, and various Technic builds that the kids were able to play with. The event had about 200 attendees each night.

2021 Holiday Party

Houston Brick Club celebrated the 2021 holiday season with an in-person party at a member’s home on December 4. Thirty-two Club members attended. We held a draft and exchanged brick-built ornaments. We had a very lively gift exchange with many “steals.” We talked about next year’s activities and generally socialized.

Most importantly, we collected new LEGO(R) sets for charity. About (60) sets and another (20) or so polybags were donated by Club members. These were later given to Texas Children’s Hospital . Houston Brick Club has had been activities at TCH over the years. Those activities have been paused due to the ongoing coronavirus issues, and we hope that we can resume them soon.

LSSE Event

Houston Brick Club was contacted by Lone Star Sports and Entertainment to provide a brick-built backdrop for use at LSSE’s charity event. About 10-12 Club members worked together to create a mosaic showing the state of Texas, the logos of two high school football teams, plus the LSSE and Houston Brick Club logos.

Two Club members took this backdrop to LSSE’s event at a local high school football game in October, 2021. LSSE was collecting LEGO(R) sets to be donated to disadvantaged youth at holiday time.

Houston Brick Club is proud of our charity activities. Please Contact Us if you are interested in displays or builds for your charity event.

Brick Rodeo 2021 highlights

Brick Rodeo LEGO(R) Fan Convention and Exhibition was held July 22-25, 2021, at the Houston Marriott Sugar Land. By all accounts, it was a great success!

Approximately 300 All-Access Members signed up for the full Convention. These Members arrived Thursday and Friday, set up MOCs for display, played games, attended presentations, caught up with old friends and met new ones. On Saturday and Sunday, the event was open to the public to show off all the custom creations made from LEGO(R) bricks.

Highlights from Brick Rodeo included:
– Keynote speech from Daniel Konstanski of Blocks Magazine, talking about “Key Moments in the Brick’s History.”
– 7 contestants from LEGO(R) Masters Season 2 were in attendance and brought MOCs to display
– a “MOCs at Night” session to showcase lighted models
– largest train/town layout Texas Brick Railroad has done to date
– charity auction to benefit a local children’s hospital
– large mosaic and fundraising game provided by Fairy Bricks

For information about next year’s Brick Rodeo, sign up for the email newsletter at BrickRodeo.com or follow #BrickRodeo on Facebook and Instagram.

Photos and other information can be found at the following links:
Danielle Bell’s photos
Alicia Costello’s photos
Tony Sava’s photos
Tony Sava’s photos (TBRR)