Student Stories

If you build it, they will come

Last spring the College Newsletter, in conjunction with the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, announced an art competition for College students and alumni. The contest was open to all forms of art, with just one requirement: the piece had to be about the Logan Center.

David Pickett, AB’07, submitted the winning entry, The Logan Center as Artifact of Participatory Culture, a model of the Logan Center created out of 350 Lego bricks. The model was inspired by the Lego Architecture series, which includes the Robie House and the Willis (né Sears) Tower.

“I was born into a Lego household,” says Pickett. “I don’t remember my first Lego set, because it was just always there. I can’t imagine a world without Lego.” A biology and creative writing major in the College, he is now the social media editor in the University News Office. 

Most kids eventually stop playing with Lego bricks, but Pickett never did. (“We call that the Dark Age in the adult fan community—the time from when you stop playing with Lego as a child, to the time when you take it up again because you have kids of your own,” he says.) Instead he collected all of his friends’ cast-off Lego bricks and began creating stop-motion animations with them. “Then it became justified,” he says, “because it was art.”

Pickett has an ongoing animated Web series, “Nightly News at Nine,” with more than 5,000 subscribers (many of them under YouTube’s required age of 13). When his fans wanted to know how to build the creations in the series, he started posting instructional videos, such as “How to build an evil robot car” and “How to build a Lego cow (with moving legs).” “Community is really important to my art practice,” he says. “I have my story I want to tell, but I also let it be guided by my audience. The interactions with my community are an integral part of what I do.”

Pickett has posted his Lego Logan on the website Cuusoo, where Lego fans can submit ideas for new products. If a proposed product gets 10,000 votes, Lego will consider manufacturing it. To vote for the Lego Logan, go to  


Logan at Sunset (painting, oil on canvas, 28" x 34")by Anna Hill, ’14

Artist's statement (excerpt):I was skeptical of Logan at first. The clean lines and metal railings and planes of endless white seemed utterly sterile. 

Then one particularly messy day in painting class, a student spilled a cupful of paint. For a tense moment we looked on in semi-terrified amazement as the puddle spread. Great, we ruined Logan. After realizing we weren’t about to be scolded or forcibly removed, we seemed to silently agree the puddle was not a mistake. By the end of the class, the floor was smeared and dolloped and splattered with colors. The mess was thrilling because it wasn’t perfect and because we had made it ourselves.

In this piece, I attempt to highlight the possibility that lies in Logan. Though comprised entirely of straight lines and geometric shapes, like the building’s exterior, no line is painted perfectly, no shape uniformly colored. The painting speaks to the power of students to create a personality for the space.   

Get Stoked (drawing, colored pencil and ink on paper)by Alex Filipowicz, ’15


Lines and Windows (photographs)by Jamie Manley, '14


The Logan Center Anthem (video)by Don Ho, '13

What Is Logan Arts Center For? (video)by Alexandra Perez, AB'12

Logan Center for the Arts (photo album)by Jasmine Kwong, AB'06

"Sermon about Gifts" (essay excerpt)by Emily Holland, '14

... Leave the Reg. Go to the newest temple erected by your fine institution, take the elevator to the ninth floor and wander into the giant performance hall, stand before the towering window there …

You are filled, as you gaze onto limestone foreheads in a Hyde Park slumber, with a crescendo of science of a different kind, a vital exculpation, a purity of knowledge which is not knowledge and facts which are not facts, indefinable forms that exist as mystically as experience: sight.