ARTie the dragon to be built during Westobou Festival

Project designed to bring people together

For the Westobou Festival this year, Artists Row Chairwoman Lisa Marks wanted to do something bold, something that would bring people together.


Something big.

She asked each of her annual college scholarship applicants to submit a sketch for a piece of public artwork that could be built during the festival.

After a few revisions, Augusta State University fine arts freshman Sara Mays’ idea stuck – a massive, snaking serpent.

During the first week of the Westobou Festival, Artists Row is asking the public to help them build a 72-foot-long, 3-D dragon they’ll name ARTie The Garden City’s Green Dragon. Using all recycled materials and the hands of volunteers, ARTie is meant give all types of people a chance to participate in art.

“I believe strongly that art is for everybody,” Marks said. “You don’t have to have a lot of education in art to appreciate it. Art is to enjoy. We wanted to create something that would be fun for young and old alike.”

Volunteers will start building the dragon with chicken wire as its frame. For ARTie’s scales and skin, they will weave plastic grocery bags, soda and water bottles and spray-paint cans along the wire.

All building will take place at the old Richmond Academy property at 504 Telfair St.

As planned in Mays’ sketch, ARTie’s back will arch over the sidewalk at the front of the building and curve over on each side.

“I really thought with the dragon idea, people would respond positively to it,” Mays said. “It will be fun.”

Mays, 19, said she has been creating art since she was young, but has never done anything as big as this.

Because of ARTie’s size, Marks said she still needs donations of material and volunteers to sign up for building shifts.

“We really need all the help we can get with this,” Marks said.

After ARTie is completed, Artists Row will hold a benefit auction on Oct. 6 at the site.

Marks asked ASU graduate Andrea Mortimer to sculpt a miniature replica of ARTie, meant to be used as a garden ornament.

After an evening of food from Rooster’s Beak and an art bar, Artists Row will auction off the sculpture along with a piece of Marks’ art, gift certificates to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and Oddfellow’s Art Gallery and more in the package.

Marks said she hopes this project will be one step in growing the sense of community in downtown Augusta.

Oftentimes, it takes a catalyst like an art project to do so.

In building a 72-foot dragon from plastic and wire, she hopes the downtown might grow a bit as well.

“There’s this incredible potential in Augusta,” Marks said. “I know from experience that art really is a key component in the revitalization of downtowns.”



• Shifts need to be filled each day (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; 2-5 p.m.; 6-9 p.m.) from Sept. 29 to Oct. 5, except Sunday, Oct. 2

• Register online at or call Lisa at (706) 826-8991.

DONATE: Materials of plastic bags, water and soda bottles, and spray-paint cans may be dropped off at Artistic Perceptions, Elduets, Gallery on the Row, Oddfellows Gallery & Zimmerman Gallery.



WHEN: 5-7 p.m. Oct. 6; auction starts at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Old Richmond Academy, 504 Telfair St.

WHAT: Auction to benefit Artists Row Annual Art Scholarship and Community Outreach Fund



The annual celebration of the arts is Sept. 29-Oct. 8 at multiple locations. See for times, locations and pricing. Here’s a selection of events:

SEPT. 29

Westobou VIP kick-off party and reception for signature artist Art Rosenbaum

Music for the films of Maya Deren, performed by Mac McCaughan

SEPT. 30

Georgia Premiere of Incarnatio Mysteria

The Whiskey Painters of America annual exhibition opening reception

Rosanne Cash, with Blue Rodeo

OCT. 1

Tara Scheyer and the Mud Puppy Band

Ira Glass: Radio Stories and Other Stories

OCT. 2

An Afternoon with the Arts at the Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta

The Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society presents: Quarteto Vivace Brasil

I Waltz with God the Morning of Genesis exhibition opening reception

The New England Spiritual Ensemble

OCT. 3

A Film Comedy Evening with Peter Teschner

Savannah River Winds Prism Concert

Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo Duo

OCT. 4

Hey Boo: Fifty Years of To Kill A Mockingbird and Harper Lee by Mary McDonough Murphy, film screening and lecture

ASU Faculty Art Show opening reception

OCT. 5

The Augusta State University Department of Music presents: Student Recital Showcase

The Life and Works of Words of Horton Foote: presented by Gerald Wood

Poetry Reading from the CSRA Poetry Society

Social Canvas

Carl Purdy, Priscilla Hollingsworth, and the Augusta State University Department of Music present: Hums and Oms: Performing Sculpture

OCT. 6

Chamber Music at St. John’s United Methodist Church

Westobou Art Bar featuring the Artist’s Row Sculpture Viewing and Auction

Botanica by Momix, ballet

OCT. 7

Sarah Hobbs Photography installation viewing, lecture and reception

Botanica by Momix, ballet

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings concert

OCT. 8

Masterpiece of the Renaissance, performance by the Cecilia Ensemble

The Music of John Williams Spectacular performed by the Symphony Orchestra Augusta

Lizz Wright: The Gospel of Jazz


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