What started off as a way to try making a little extra money turned into an artistic endeavor that gives a Franklin man the chance to express his creative side.
Scott Wright, who works as a press operator at KYB, has always had a love of sculpture and art. He’s a history buff too, and loves to integrate his research of the Civil War or World War II into his creations.
For the past five years, his artistic pursuits have turned mostly to Lego models and replicas of his own design.
One of his original pieces, his Lego replica of the Johnson County Courthouse, won first place in a show at the Johnson County Fair in 2013.
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Like a lot of parents, Wright first tried working with Legos when his kids were little.
“I’d snap a few blocks together,” he said, but neither he nor his kids — all three now grown — had much more of a passing interest in the toys.
Fast-forward to 2011.
Wright and his wife, Chris, came across three large tubs of Legos at a garage sale they that were interested in re-selling. Chris and Scott kept one set of the blocks for their grandkids to play with and decided to sell the other two tubs.
A family connection to a flea market seller put them in touch with a southside enthusiast and collector who invited him to a regional Lego show in Greenfield.
Wright walked in and was amazed by what he saw: huge displays of various themes throughout the building.
“This isn’t Legos out of the box — it’s what people create out of their own minds,” he said.
Designs can be based on everything — movies and television shows, historic landmarks, cartoons and Internet memes all have found their way into designers’ creations.
Wright has loved creating models, sculptures or art his whole life. He began building model airplanes with his dad when he was a kid. He created jewelry and other accessories for many years as a side business. He’s always had a passion for drawing.
So something about the artistic form spoke to him from the first moment at the show.
“I started right away. My first layout was a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ (creation),” he said. “It would cover four 8-foot tables.”
He let his own curiosities and passion guide his designs.
“I kept building things that interested me,” he said. “I love history. Franklin is my hometown. I always admired the Johnson County Courthouse.”
He collected photos and did research into the courthouse’s façade to make a Lego model of the Franklin courthouse square.
His local pieces — which also include other Indiana landmarks, such as the Fort Wayne fort and the USS Indianapolis — will be displayed at next month’s Brickworld Indy show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The show will have several displays of Indiana historic landmarks in honor of the state’s bicentennial.
Brickworld shows take place all over the country, bringing together LUG groups — Lego User Groups — made up of adult builders who have a passion for the toys. Wright’s group, IndyLUG, meets once a month where artist-builders share ideas and plan displays for upcoming shows.
Builders will purchase Lego bricks and supplies through websites where they can buy specific colors of bricks or other Lego figures that they need at competitive prices from other builders and collectors.
How long it takes to complete a set depends on how much research is needed and how long it takes to get all the parts, Wright said.
The “Pirates” set-up took two years. The USS Indianapolis took only five or six weeks.
Chris and Scott will display several themes at next month’s Brickworld show, including a farm-themed display of Lego “Friends.” They’ll also have the Indiana displays — Fort Wayne, USS Indianapolis, the Johnson County Courthouse, courthouse square and a new one called “The Age of Dinosaurs.”
The Brickworld Indy show at the Indiana Fairgrounds in March will feature the work of Franklin Lego artist Scott Wright, who is a member of IndyLUG, an adult Lego users’ group. The show serves as a convention and show for Lego enthusiasts who create original displays of Legos.
When: March 12 and 13
Where: Indiana State Fairgrounds in the Ag-Hort building.
Theme: The displays will feature themes depicting important landmarks in honor of Indiana’s bicentennial.