Detroit Art Park's fire-breathing dragon competes for ArtPrize - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Detroit Art Park's fire-breathing dragon competes for ArtPrize

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(Credit: WJBK| Fire breathing dragon at Art Park (Credit: WJBK| Fire breathing dragon at Art Park

She usually stands guard over the Lincoln Street Art Park. But, right now the fire breathing dragon is in Grand Rapids at ArtPrize, competing for the $200,000 grand prize, decided by public votes. 

The creature, known as Gon KiRin is made entirely of  found objects.  Ryan Doyle is one of the amazing artists who brought her to life. "The panels on the face are from just steel that we found laying around -- sides of fridges and stuff we burned off all the paint the tires are all from 75, 94, 96," he said.

The dragon is 26 feet tall and weighs 17,000 pounds. Other recycled objects used to make the 3D sculpture include a 1963 Dodge truck, a boat, and several couches.

There's also a propane cannon, where the fire comes from and more than 700 LED lights that light the dragon up at night.

"When it's set up outside, it's one of the most amazing pieces of art I've ever seen, young people and old people, children. A fire breathing dragon we grew up dreaming about them and to see one alive is wonderful," Matthew Naimi said.

He's founder of Recycle Here and the Art Park and is also thrilled to see his vision come alive.

The space used to be a dumping ground outside of his facility. But, he came up with a creative idea to stop it. "Why don't we clean it up with volunteers and instead of putting a fence and keeping people out -- why don't we put art and invite people in," Naimi said.

That's how it all started in 2011. And the park has really grown. 60 or 70 artists have now been here. Leaving colorful murals and thought provoking projects.. like Frank the dinosaur and more including other these pieces where the canvas is the roof of a Ford Flex.

Rachel Klegon of Green Living Science said,"the Art Park has really been a place for inspiration and creativity and just a lot of space to give people the chance to create something that they never thought that they'd be able to do before."

Klegon runs Recycle Here's educational program called "Green Living Science" and brings students to teach them about reuse.

The recycling facility is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Art Park is always open, evolving and revolving on Lincoln Street.

You can vote for Detroit's Dragon to win ArtPrize by following the link to

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