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Car of dragons draws crowd in Auburn parking lot

Work of art creation for Burning Man
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Editor
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It’s not every day you see a metal dragon in an Auburn parking lot. So it was understandable when shoppers in the Auburn Town Center located off Elm Avenue stopped, gawked, and took pictures out of their car windows Friday morning as they drove by an 8-foot wide metal sculpture on wheels that had seven dragon heads roaring out of it. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” said Heather Lopez, who works at McCaulou’s and came outside with coworkers to see what was going on. The Dragons of Eden has been a six years and counting project designed by Santa Cruz resident Lucy Hosking. While parked in the lot in front of McCaulou’s and SaveMart, the dragon was configured to be legal for the road. As a converted motor home, it’s also legal for its creators to drive it on the roads and freeways. When it arrives at this year’s Burning Man, located in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada about 110 miles northeast of Reno, it will expand to 15 feet wide and stretch out its tail to be 52 feet from end to end. Its seven heads will also breathe fire into the Burning Man sky during the annual gathering held Aug. 27 to Sept. 3. The work of art is also a work of technology with motion sensors that activate its parts and touch screens will be installed by next year. All of the work certainly draws attention, said Kevin Lewis, a Santa Cruz resident who’s been part of Hosking’s team. “You go to get gas and the intersection stops,” Lewis said. “You see cars race forward on the road to stop ahead and take a picture.” Hosking, who said she’s attended Burning Man for 14 years, said she was immediately impacted by the “utterly unbelievable” art during her first experience there. “I saw this stuff and I understood the spirit of that creativity and that spirit of what’s good about being a human being…it inspired me,” Hosking said. “It wasn’t the drugs, it was the art.” As a 14-year veteran of Burning Man, Hosking said she’s treated like a bit of a rock star there, but was quick to add she creates her art to give back. “I’m trying to give something back to it,” Hosking said. “It’s turned out to be the most fun thing I’ve ever done.” And it was certainly a fun sight for those walking through the Auburn parking lot Friday morning, as one passerby said. “This was worth coming up and getting milk for.” Reach Jenifer Gee at jeniferg@goldcountrymedia.com.