On Thursday night at the Old Academy of Richmond County, Artists Row Chairwoman Lisa Marks sang the praises of the city’s college students, homeless men and women, artists, moms, dads and children.
In all, 224 volunteers showed up to help build ARTie, the 72-foot-long dragon made out of bags, bottles and chicken wire. The recycled materials were donated to the public art project, the first of its kind at the Westobou Festival. The fourth annual celebration of the arts ends Saturday.
On Thursday, supporters came to view the completed project and bid on items in an auction that supported the Artists Row Annual Art Scholarship and Community Outreach Fund.
“It was awesome,” Marks said. “The whole idea was to bring people together. They did. They came together, and it was because of art.”
This year’s scholarship winner was Augusta State University fine arts freshman Sara Mays, who submitted the sketch for ARTie The Garden City’s Green Dragon.
On Thursday, about $500 was raised for the fund. A garden ornament replica of the giant dragon, named ARTie Jr., was auctioned for $255.
It, too, was built out of recycled materials, said artist Andrea E. Mortimer, an ASU graduate who made the replica.
“When else do you get to do something else like this?” she said. “It was so unusual and so much fun.”
ARTie will remain at the Old Academy of Richmond County throughout the Westobou Festival, after which he’ll be demolished and recycled.