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Draka Arts

Draka Arts is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and building community through art, architecture and energy. Founded in 2000, Draka Arts was birthed in the desolate, intense land of the Black Rock Desert, and inspired by the building of a 112 foot fire-breathing, mobile/kinetic sculpture named Draka the Dragon. Over the years, as volunteers worked on Draka and participated in mini workshops in the metal arts, a need to continue educating and inspiring others was stirred. In this vain, Draka Arts spawned its first annual Arts Festival for learning the fire and metal arts in 2003, and called it the "Burnin'Bush." With it's success and popularity growing daily, the tradition and enthusiasm for furthering the arts continues.

It is the vision of Draka Arts to create a world renown art center, residency program, and arts facility - a community in which the imagined has the opportunity to manifest itself in the physical; the idea has a chance to freely express itself through any or a combination of art forms.

Mission Statement
Draka Art's mission is to provide artists, and other creative, passionate souls, with a place of refuge and uninterrupted time to work, reflect, develop, and share their creative processes. This unique live-work-learn environment will support extreme experimentation in the arts, music, architecture, and scholarly endeavors. As we create a bridge between an artistic community and a self-sustaining community, our hope is that a
rt, architecture, and energy work together harmoniously for the betterment of all-kind.

Plans & Programs
At our Art Center National and International artists, writers, and scholars will be invited to join our community so that they may have the freedom to work along side, and develop a repertoire with, others possessing unique and unusual goals and visions. Draka Arts Foundation will provide living space, workspace, shop facilities and financial assistance to the artists so that they may be completely free to create their art.

Our plans include the opening of an Artists in Residence Program by Summer 2005. Initially this program will be open to sculptors. As funding permits we will eventually open our doors to painters, writers and musicians. Our long-term goals include the implementation of an International Outreach~Exchange Program where youth of less fortunate countries possessing creative ability will be given an opportunity to attend our Art Center. Plus, a Projects in Architecture Program where students interested in constructing designs that incorporate alternative forms of energy and recycled materials may come to the Art Center and build their dream.

A foundry will exist at the core of Draka Art Center and it's pulse found in pouring molten metal to create sculptural works.

Board of Directors
Lisa Nigro President & Executive Director
Lisa founded Draka Arts in 2002 so that artists might have the luxury of time, funds, access to facilities and work space to create their work ~ free from the shackles of society's obligations and demands. Lisa is primarily a metal sculptor who has produced large-scale sculptural/installation and performance pieces since 1993. Lisa earned her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Sculpture from the University of Texas at Austin in 1994, and her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1985. Lisa has exhibited her paintings, drawings and installation works both nationally and internationally. She has fifteen years experience as a graphic designer in advertising and children's textbook publishing. She worked with undergraduate students as an Assistant Teacher in Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Bronze Casting, Mold-Making and Graphic Design at the University of Texas at Austin. She later taught Computer Graphics at Artists Television Access and Media Alliance in San Francisco; and also worked with teens-at-risk in Youth Industry's Artist-Mentorship Program in the Mission District of San Francisco. Her work has been published in Rolling Stone Magazine, MIT Press Leonardo Journal and SteelGirl. Click here for > Lisa's CV

Flynn Mauthe Treasurer & Director of Operations
From 1995 through 2003, Flynn Mauthe worked as a volunteer, independent contractor, and employee for the Burning Man Arts Festival, Black Rock Desert, Nevada. He earned the titles of Chief Site Forman (1998), Director of Operations DPW (1999-2003), Nevada Properties Manager (2001-2003), Burning Man Sr. Staff (1999-2003), and Chief of Staff DPW (2003). His wide range of accomplishments included directing and coordinating a seasonal work force of two hundred or more people in the construction and removal of the temporary City of Black Rock. He was also involved on a "grass roots" level in creating the "leave no trace" methods for playa restoration, creating budget processes, developing unique management systems, and writing daily protocols within the Burning Man Department of Public Works, all of which are essential to an arts festival of this caliber.

In 1994, Flynn moved from Austin, Texas to San Francisco where he began working with several robotic groups, including the Seemen, Survival Research Laboratories, Christian Ristow, and The People Hater. From 1994 to 1996 Flynn worked under the art direction of Kalman Spelletich, and the Seemen, and performed in several of the group's large scale pyro/performance/robotic events in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Black Rock Desert. The most notable project being FlynnÕs construction of a thirty-eight foot wooden tower for the performance of "Helco," designed by Larry Harvey, choreographed by the Seemen, and later coined "Helco Tower" - One of the major highlights of the Burning Man event that year and also the largest flaming structure on record until the appearance of the Temple by David Best in 2001.

In 1996, Flynn moved into the Survival Research Laboratories building on San Bruno Street in S.F. and, for six years, worked closely with Mark Pauline coordinating volunteers and fabricating props in metal, wood, plastics, and other unmentionables. Flynn was key in locating a suitable venue and producing the successful 1997 SRL show: "The Unexpected Destruction of Elaborately Engineered Artifacts" in Austin, TX. Prior to his robotic life, Flynn was part owner in a home building & construction company with his brother, Brett, for six years in San Antonio, TX. He also built and remodeled homes in Austin and St. Croix, and later became a real estate agent for eight years. Before all this serious home business Flynn was a guitar player in several southern punk rock bands in Texas, the most famous at the time being the Hickoids (1982-3).

Dana Rogers
Development Director/Fundraising

Jim Breitrick

Sam Wedderburn

Artists in Residence Committee

Flynn Mauthe
Lisa Nigro

Kalman Spelletich; Artistic Director, Seemen

Architectural Development Committee

Flynn Mauthe
Lisa Nigro

Fundraising Committee

Flynn Mauthe
Lisa Nigro

Dana Rogers

Jim Breitrick
Manager:Art Facilities jim@drakaarts.org
Margaret Farrow
Volunteer Coordinator margaret@drakaarts.org

Flynn Mauthe Director of Operations flynn@drakaarts.org
Lisa Nigro Executive Director lisa@drakaarts.org
Dana Rogers Development Director dana@drakaarts.org
Kalman Spelletich kal@seemen.org
Sam Wedderburn drakasam@drakaarts.org

History & Statistics

  • Founded in 2003 by a small group of metalworkers & artists from the four corners of the United States.
  • Home base for Draka the Dragon is Black Rock Desert, Nevada.
  • Draka Arts Foundation is currently searching for land to create the Art Center & Residency Program for artists, craftspeople , scholars, writers and the ecologically conscious.

Find out more about our Art Center...

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   340 Main Street
   Gerlach, NV 89412
   Phone: 210.785.0832

   Fax: 210.785.0832

Draka Arts Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Copyright 2003



1617 W. Magnolia Avenue, San Antonio, TX 78201  
Phone: 210.785.991 
Email: info@drakaarts.org

Copyright 2003-07