Public Art

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Imagine Dragon

Public Art

About the artist:

In August of 2013 the City Council approved the recommendation of the Cultural Arts Commission and borrowed "Imagine" as a temporary piece of public art to be displayed in the park space north of the entry plaza fronting the Public Library. The piece "Imagine," or as it is now called "Imagine Dragon," is a sculpture representing a standing sea dragon. It is clad in copper that has taken on a beautiful brown patina. Originally it was part of the Urban Tree 5 Program of the San Diego Port District. "Imagine Dragon" was officially installed at its current site in October 2013 and has settled in nicely, sheltered below the beautiful pines of the library.

The artist of the piece is Kent Kraber, a 70 year-old artist who has recently moved from Lemon Grove to Priest River, Idaho. His website biography describes a curious young boy who grew up in San Diego.

Kent was raised in San Diego County, California and made the most of his play time either exploring local canyons with his hand-made bow and arrows, or later, fishing, surfing, and diving in the clear, cool coastal waters.

Even as a child, Kent exhibited his artistic talent ... and over the years, he has created art in just about every medium - clay, paint, leaded glass, wood, and metal. He has also designed and built furniture, cabinetry, houses, boats, and cars.

His love of the outdoors is currently being expressed by "bringing metal to life". A naturalist at heart, Kent cuts, shapes, and colorizes ordinary sheet metal into animals and plants with hammers, a forge, and torches. His eye for design and detail then artfully arranges them into enchanting sculptures, gates, and fences.
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The sculpture has a height of 11 feet from the bottom of its curved tail to the top of its head. It has a fabricated steel skeletal core that is covered in copper and weighs 350 pounds. The copper coating is less than one-sixteenth of an inch thick. Imagine Dragon's head, built on a stainless steel footed bearing, will move in winds of five knots or more. Its effective height is approximately 14 feet as it is mounted on a concrete base.

"Imagine Dragon" was purchased in 2013 for a cost of $10,000.

The sculpture was described accordingly in the Port District's literature: "This artwork captures the imagination in all of us. The artist depicts dragons as caretakers rather than fearsome or devious creatures."