Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mansfield Art Center special exhibit - The Art of the Brick by Nathan Sawaya

Also in November, we went on a very cool excursion to Mansfield, OH.  It's only an hour away but I had never been there before.  The main reason for the trip was to visit the "Art of the Brick" exhibit by Lego artist/sculptor Nathan Sawaya.  His creations are both visually and technically amazing.

Self portrait of the artist.  Apparently he built this one of himself and one of his wife to greet guests at the entry to their home when they had a party.







Flip flops



Equally as interesting and creative as the actual exhibit, there was also a room full of pieces designed by kids in various Lego clubs. 

I was a bit confused by this one until I read the title:  Writer's Block.  Very clever!

Pretty picnic scene

These Wizard of Oz pieces were by far my favorites of the kid creations.  On the left is Dorothy's house, swept up in the tornado, and on the right is the Emerald City.

Finally, there was a room full of bins of Legos you could build with.  "M" for Monkey!

As we were leaving the museum, a volunteer overheard us talking about going to lunch and asked us where we were going.  We told her we had packed a lunch and were just going to have a picnic somewhere.  She recommended we visit the Gorman Nature Center, so we did.  It was definitely worth the visit.  There were lots of creatures to check out - snakes, frogs, fish, birds, turtles, etc. and the kids really enjoyed it.

No matter how hard I tried, I could not get a good shot of the little screech owl.  But he was my favorite!  Here, Bug is pointing him out.

The volunteer who was working let us go up into the third-story observation tower.  Here is a bit of the view.  Notice all of the solar panels on the roof, too.

In the observation tower

A real paper wasp nest, cut away to reveal a cross section.  *shudder*

Our final stop on our Mansfield excursion was to the lovely Richland Carousel.  It has a wonderful variety of beautiful hand-carved animals to choose from.  We had the entire place to ourselves and rode it twice.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Field Trip - Nov 8, 2013

In November, we went on a wonderful field trip, which was organized by Kim over at Kim's Ohio Homeschooling Events.  We took a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, and the trip included people in period costumes, educating the kids about what life was like in the 1800's.  There was a demonstration about churning butter, where the kids passed around small bottles of milk, taking turns shaking the bottles vigorously while singing a song.  Sure enough, it turned to butter!  We also learned about how kids dressed, what kind of toys they played with, and what school was like for them.

Waiting at the station for the train to arrive.

A view of the Y bridge in Akron

Traffic circle on Smith Road.  It was neat seeing a road I'd been on many times, from a different perspective.

This was during the churning butter demonstration.

Demonstrating a Jacob's Ladder toy.
The train stopped and reversed direction at the same location they use for the "North Pole" on the holiday Polar Express trips.