Matthew Giuttari '22
Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, Connecticut

Piece by Piece: Building My Reality
At this point in my life, I am used to the chuckles I receive upon telling my friends that I, in fact, love Legos. Growing up in a house of four children was a hectic environment to say the least; an escape from the chaos of siblings was much needed. As a kid, sitting down and concentrating on one task was never my intention, rather I was constantly energetic, chasing and being chased by my siblings.

Building Lego sets had always been a way to minimize any stressors that were going on at the time, or to simply relax and enjoy the challenge. My first Lego set was given to me at a very young age, my seventh birthday, and although excited, I was puzzled with what I was supposed to accomplish. I knew that Luke Skywalker was going to need a little more assistance than I could offer at that age, so after countless hours of struggling and persisting, I inevitably succumbed to the numerous offers of help. Each birthday and holiday moving forward, I requested Legos in order to perfect my ability, and each time I gained expertise. Finally, I encountered my own “Eureka!” moment, individually completing my first kit, a miniature replica of the Seattle Space Needle, solely on willpower and sheer excitement.

My worn, but comfortable bedroom floor had become my safe haven for letting my mind wander and to create sculptures I would have never thought of if it hadn’t been for my obsession with those miniscule, plastic blocks. I hadn’t usually been the most creative, artistic person; however, when I sat down in my room next to my collection and freed my mind, I suddenly become an artist of my own definition. Soon, as I got older, more unique ideas for pieces flooded my mind rather than following strict instructions. These ideas had resulted in the possibility of designing and constructing certain buildings and entities, of course without any real-world consequences. My bedroom floor eventually turned into a skyline resembling that of New York City, skyscrapers grazing the top of my bed and Rockefeller Center spanning from my desk to my closet. Arriving home late from school or a strenuous practice, I was relieved to lay down next to my meaningful, personalized city.

I rarely construct Lego structures nowadays; however, my obsession with those tiny bricks embedded a passion in me that will never cease to follow me. Arriving to a boarding school as a first-year student, I was extremely hesitant and nervous. Though I would soon be a part of a team, I sought an escape from my anxiety of being away from home and especially my bedroom. Though I hadn’t brought along any of my Legos, (I’m sure you can imagine why), I signed up for a new class which taught the basics of ceramics and sculpting figures. Ceramics was an entire new entity to me and I enjoyed every second of it. I had been constructing simple bowls and plates to ease myself into the new medium I was using. Soon, however, I became more confident and adventurous with my designs. After hours in the studio at school, I ultimately transferred my projects back to my personal studio, my bedroom, to join the company of my surrounding Lego projects. Not only providing me with entertainment, Legos left an everlasting mark on my capacity to experiment with new endeavors I would rarely attempt.

Legos hold a special place in my mind and my heart due to the effect they have had on my curiosity, creativity and overall optimism. I will continue to design my sculptures, my essays, and my future, which is certainly guided by my imagination. Having constructed those guided, age appropriate sets and eventually designing unique pieces, I developed a knack for sculpting and imagining brand new ideas I transfer into my everyday life.