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A little LEGO love


Putting a creative effort together

In late August, the Bricks & Minifigs store in Canby was a bustle of activity. Enthusiasts of all ages packed the back of the store over two days to assemble a 45-inch by 45-inch mural made of Legos.

In all, the work contains 20,736 1x1-inch LEGO blocks and is the culmination of nine months of collaboration.

This mural is a result of a project partnership between Canby Telcom and Bricks & Minifigs that began in November 2012.

Merry Shepard, manager of marketing at Canby Telcom, had a vision to create a community project that would appeal to all ages and provide a lasting tribute to the effort.

“As a local co-op, contributions and company participation in the Canby community is a significant part of our core business model,” Shepard said. “LEGO builds are rare due to extensive pre-planning and are usually found only at big movie debuts or comic conventions. Having a LEGO product store in town, we thought having our own local build would be a great opportunity to engage the community. The Bricks & Minifigs team was a delight to work with.”

The initial meeting between Bricks & Minifigs owner John Masek and Shepard to begin the process and discuss the timeline took place in November 2012.

The final design was completed at Canby Telcom and submitted to Bricks & Minifigs for LEGO interpretation in March. Masek and the team at Bricks & Minifigs printed the two-dimensional art in full-scale at Canby Signs & Graphics, ordered the necessary LEGO blocks from various places around the world and converted them into a three-dimensional work of art.

Shepard approved the final LEGO rendering in mid-May.

Then Masek, his wife and staff carefully disassembled the mural, created a grid-coordinate pattern on the backboard, and color coded each peg on the 6x6-inch boards for easy assembly. Each 6x6-inch board was packaged into an individual build kit complete with corresponding color(s) of LEGO bricks and grid coordinates for mural placement after assembly.

“Although I have many eye-catching Lego murals in the store, they arrived assembled.” Masek said. “This is the first mural I have built beginning to end and although the project was significantly more involved than anticipated, it was an amazing experience.”

Participants were not told what the finished mural would be. It was a “reveal as you go” collaboration.

Children speculated on the picture throughout the build. Some thought it was a scene from a Mario Bros. game and others felt that it had more of a Batman look. Just a handful of builders were able to deduce in the early stages that the finished picture was a variation of the Canby Telcom MyTech logo and icons.

Tony Gonzalez from Canby’s CTV Channel 5 captured the mural assembly progress with multiple cameras over the two days and revealed the mystery picture to all in a 1:45 minute time-lapse video now found at www.youtube.com/canbytelcom.

The completed mural has been framed and will be on display at the Canby Telcom lobby around the first part of October at 190 SE Second Ave.