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Sunday, August 30, 2015

LEGO Tournament

By Chris Jones and Times Staff Writer

The Flint Institute of Arts (FIA) hosted the third annual “Make a Masterpiece” LEGO Tournament on February 16. There were teams from the University of Michigan-Flint, Kettering University, Baker College and Mott Community College. The four colleges also sponsored the event.

Each team was given a box of 15,000 LEGO pieces, which the team sorted into color-coded piles. They were then given three hours to “make a masterpiece.” Two judges unaffiliated with the colleges ranked the work. Their criteria included originality, creativity, design dynamic and execution.

The LEGO tournament was the brainchild of College Town, a college student organization of the FIA. UM-Flint, Baker, MCC and Kettering all have at least two student representatives that propose ideas centered on reinforcing the community of Flint as well as providing entertainment to the FIA.

“[The tournament] achieves what the intent of College Town was,” Marketing and Special Events Coordinator Janice Henry said. “To take the students from their campuses out into the community.”

For their masterpiece, UM-Flint did an interpretation of the Rialto Bridge in Venice, though the team did not place. The team said their main problem was dealing with the base of the structure. It took too long and none of them were satisfied with it in the end.

“We worked as a team. We definitely needed the extra hands,” pre-physical therapy student Krystal Dugas said. The team admitted that they had not planned their project well and did not have much experience, but remained hopeful for the future.

Kettering won first place for their interpretation of Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream.”

“We took the painting ‘The Scream’ and made it to a semi-three-dimensional model,” Kettering senior Jonathon Wigger said. “The painting is in the background but the guy is coming out.”

Wigger said his team got together the previous day in order to plan. One idea they considered was “London Bridge is Falling Down.” They settled on “The Scream” because it would be easier to make with the bright LEGO pieces. In spite of the amount of planning they did, they were not able to make the entire background in time. Kettering also won last year’s tournament.

MCC won second place for their completely original project, a stylistic message saying “Art is Life.” The phrase was also on the t-shirts of their team.

Chris can be reached at cwijones@umflint.edu

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