Up close, the mosaic doesn't look like anything more than tens of thousands of randomly scattered LEGO bricks. But as you step back, an image emerges. The tan pieces become the faces of Jesus and his disciples, and the browns and grays and oranges become their robes.
The Oakland Presbyterian LEGO User Group combined an art lesson with fun this summer, and the end result is a 10-foot-long, 5-foot-tall re-creation of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” made entirely of LEGO bricks — 78,408, to be exact.
There is no kit for this project, Laurie Hallock, one of the club leaders, said. Her husband, Mike, was the mastermind behind the pattern.
“Mike programmed an application that took an imported jpeg file and created a pixeled image,” she said. “The application was designed to take that pixeled image and, with some manual manipulation, produced a list of LEGO parts needed. That application also assisted with creating the individual building steps, which is how the kids and volunteers knew how to build it.”
It took 50 to 55 hours to complete the giant image, and students worked on it during two weeks of day camp. Laurie Hallock said she and her family, including son Corey, worked on it in between camp sessions to ensure its completion.
This isn’t the club’s first venture in mosaic-making. Five years ago, a temporary piece was created to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Oakland Presbyterian Church.
The group wanted to embark on a permanent LEGO project, and after a year of brainstorming, Corey came up with the idea of re-creating “The Last Supper.”
The next few years were spent planning and raising funds, Hallock said.
The mosaic cost $4,600, she said.
The funds were raised through day camp registration fees and a few additional LEGO Fun Days held last year during student holidays.
The Hallocks recently returned from a BrickFair LEGO Expo in Virginia, where they displayed the artwork, and returned with the prize for Best Mosaic.
“The Last Supper” will next travel to the Bricks N Blocks LEGO event in September.
The Oakland Presbyterian LEGO Users Group first met in September 2010 as a monthly gathering for a couple hours. Laurie Hallock founded the group, and other key leaders are Jim Gordon, Mike Hallock, Corey Hallock and Holly Gordon.
The group is open to all ages and skill levels. Students are mostly engaged in free-build, where they can choose from a large selection of LEGO elements to build any creations they can imagine.
“It’s an opportunity for builders to create and enjoy fellowship in a safe, Christian, supportive environment,” Hallock said.
The club expanded to a summer day camp in 2013, and it offered more structured activities, such as robotics, organized build challenges, city builds and a daily Bible study.
The club meets monthly. The next gathering is from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1. There is no pre-registration required to attend. For information, go to the OPLUG Facebook page.