Art of the Brick greeter shares his ‘don’t touch’ strategy

LEGO Certified Professional Nathan Sawaya is often in the spotlight for his Art of the Brick exhibits, but now the greeter at the gallery has given an interview.

The Tampa Bay Times interviewed Ivan Crawford, the man in charge of welcoming guests to the Art of the Bricks and giving them a few pointers. Art of the Brick is currently free to visit while it is located in Tampa, Florida.

Crawford is the first employee to greet guests to the free exhibit of Lego sculptures enjoying a run in Tampa through Sept. 4. In his booming voice, he beckons the group to huddle close and repeat after him: “Don’t touch the art!”

It’s an impossible job, asking people not to touch things that beckon to be touched. He deputizes the kids and commands them to repeat the rule to their parents at the top of their lungs. “Don’t touch the art!”

“Kids love it when I put them in charge of the parents,” said Crawford, 48. “And honestly, the parents have been touching it more than the kids.”


The exhibit has proved popular in this latest location, with around 3,000 visitors a day adding up to over 75,000 attendees in total.

Sawaya’s playful sculpture of a giant pencil balancing on its point and spelling FUN is a particular temptation.

“It’s only hanging by a string and the middle will break,” Crawford said. “We’ve had to put that back together many times.”


Graham was the Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

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