Lego by Lego


Shops in Center City ready for the Pope’s visit this weekend

Taking advantage of a gap in my schedule, I squeezed into the city to see an exhibit I have been dying to visit before the city essentially shuts down for the Papal visit. Philadelphia has gone into over-drive preparing for the historic visit; closing some train stations, roads, and bridges to try and handle the enormous crowds expected in Center City. Despite the increased number of people in the city, the Franklin Institute was nearly empty! Having been at the museum when it was so crowded we were packed in like sardines, it was a pleasant surprise.

Last winter, an exhibit called the Art of the Brick (AOTB) made its way to the Franklin Institute for a limited engagement. I intended to see it, but my crazy semester got the best of my time, and I didn’t get to before I left for summer. To my surprise, when I arrived back in the fall, I heard that it had been extended by “popular demand”. I assumed it was so popular because of the novelty of the exhibit; its creator Nathan Sawaya said himself that he started making Lego artwork because it hadn’t been done before. But when I stepped into the exhibit, I immediately understood why it had such staying power.


Nathan Sawaya has done much more than recreate famous masterpieces using small, brightly colored pieces of children’s toys; he has created a way to draw emotion from the people visiting his exhibit and even more deeply, to bring them together. After going through the first two halls where there were recreations of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Michelangelo’s David, and Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night to just name a few, the final hall contained pieces original to the curator.

11953129_10204989216952140_1808124652555682943_nEntitled “The Human Condition”, each one had a description with a message from Sawaya about the meaning behind each installment. One of the most amazing elements of the exhibit was how I could see myself in each one of his original creations. He drew on sentiments so common and relevant to our society that you couldn’t help but have your breath taken away and emotions tugged at. Everything from diversity to finding our own voice was beautifully built into human form with hundreds of thousands of Legos as unique as we are.

My words can only speak to a fraction of the meaning behind this exhibit and so if the Art of the Brick comes to a museum near you, I wholeheartedly recommend you see it. I would like to end this post with a picture of my favorite piece. It is just one of the many creations in the AOTB that collectively represent the creativity, inspiration, and hope of this exhibit. In the description next to it, Nathan Sawaya writes,

12003168_10204989216712134_6355458280109623046_n“Celebrate difference. If everybody looked and was the same, it wouldn’t be a very interesting world, would it? So which shape are you? And which color? The circle, square, and triangle are the fundamental building blocks of all things. And the colors red, blue, and yellow are the primary colors of our world.”

#126 Drive on the Mainline

After much thought about the five things I wanted to add to my senior year bucket list, I have finally come up with my extra tasks in honor of BMC’s 130th birthday. Over the next few months between posts about everyday life and special events, I will be blogging as I check off activities from the list. In addition to the 69 items from the original one (most of which could not be completed until senior year), the five I have decided to add include:

126. Drive on the Mainline

127. Visit Eastern State Penitentiary

128. Eat a beignet at Reading Terminal Market

129. Ride the Paoli/Thorndale to the last stop

130. Complete a week of random acts of kindness on campus

I am writing today to share that I can officially check off my first new task.

Adam’s Rib. MGM Studios, 1949

Bryn Mawr participates in a program called Zipcar which is a car-sharing business that places cars all over different cities and college campuses allowing users the ability to borrow a car for a small fee per hour. I have wanted to take advantage of this program since freshman year, but I have been too nervous to. If you’ve ever been through the town of Bryn Mawr, or driven on Lancaster Avenue, you know that driving in this area can be slightly really intimidating. Cars fly past, stopping at cross walks tends to be more of a suggestion, and it sometimes feels like honking is the Northeastern way to say hello. Despite this, I decided to finally get a Zipcar membership this year so that I can at last say I’ve driven on the mainline and so I can have another way to take advantage of the area before I graduate.

IMG_7436This past Friday, one of my best friends and I had to pick up some things from the grocery store that would have been too heavy to walk back to school with, so I finally faced my fear and drove! My car’s name was Dionne and at my scheduled time, all I had to do was waive my Zipcar membership card over the reader on the dashboard and voila, I had my own four wheels for an hour. It’s such a neat concept! I wasn’t used to driving a small car with a *very* sensitive gas petal, but overall, the experience was very pleasant (I hope my friend thinks so too!) and my confidence even grew a little. Now, I admit Lancaster Ave. is no Interstate 76, but baby steps. With this new found freedom, who knows where I’ll be off to next. And hey, I only received one Northeastern hello.



The Big 1-3-0


Clara McCafferty Wright ’19 shares a photo from the first Parliament of Owls and Celebration

Today Bryn Mawr celebrated its 130th birthday with one of President Cassidy’s signature “pop-up” events full of cake, plush owls, and music. After my last class of the day, I walked over to the cloisters where the fun was just beginning. With a piece of cake in hand to celebrate this momentous occasion, I looked into the cloisters and couldn’t help but think about the generations of proud Bryn Mawr alumnae/i who have come before me. Throughout the last 130 years, students from all over the world have come to Bryn Mawr, learning how to learn, question, think, and change their world. Along the way, there have no doubt been struggles and challenges, but there has also been fun and adventure. Even deeper, there has been sisterhood and community.

For the college’s 125th birthday, a t-shirt was given out with a bucket list of things every mawrter should do before they graduate. I remember being so jealous of my friends in the Class of 2015 who owned one of them. After some searching, I was able to find a copy of the list online and so I made it into a document of my own. Items on the list include “host a prospective student”, “Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art”, and “Take a class in the Tri-Co” along with 122 other tasks. I have made a significant dent in the list, but in honor of Bryn Mawr’s 130th birthday, I am going to add five more things I want to do before I leave this beautiful place that has become my second home. This blog’s purpose is to provide a glimpse into the everyday life of a Bryn Mawr student, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than by completing these essential tasks. Follow my blogs throughout the year to see me complete items and tasks off the bucket list and savor my senior and final year here. I can’t wait to share it with you!