MechAnimals: Metal Fabrication Collaboration

To book an MechAnimals in your community, contact Matthew Kulas at Ariel Artists. / (617) 213-0378

MechAnimals is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between Akropolis, Detroit based metal artist and Kresge Arts fellow Juan Martinez, and composer Steven Snowden. MechAnimals is an immersive experience including concerts, workshops, public art, and community building. MechAnimals ignites communities to notice their spaces and reflect on how they can come together amidst our changing world. 

The centerpiece is Sprocket (video below), a new work which joins the reed quintet with a rideable percussion tricycle designed and fabricated by Juan Martinez, originally performed on by Detroit percussionist Zac Bru. MechAnimals was the centerpiece of Akropolis’ 2019 Together We Sound festival in Detroit, MI and is made possible thanks to support from High Wire Lab, the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


MechAnimals brings music, public art, and wonder to communities nationwide. It all started in Detroit as a way of inviting Detroit’s bustling cycling community into the arts world and featured concerts and public art exploration on Detroit’s Dequindre Cut bike path (video below).

The MechAnimals project includes outdoor/indoor concerts featuring Sprocket and other animal+spectacle inspired works including Splinter, Refraction, and CircusMuziek. It also features two of Juan Martinez’s other metal bicycle creations that travel with us, available to be ridden by the public. Juan also gives workshops on using everyday materials to create meaningful art, and Akropolis gives pop-up shows.

Here is a feature on Juan with Kresge Arts Detroit.

Juan’s incredible work has appeared at Art Basel Miamia, Ann Arbor Summer Festival, MOCAD, Austin Bike Zoo, and numerous other festivals and public spaces around the country.

Akropolis, an international touring ensemble, has performed Sprocket in Detroit, San Antonio, Saratoga (NY), and New Haven (CT).

MechAnimals mobilizes the community to engage their spaces, move, and listen. Performances take place in any public space where movement, nature, and wonder can happen. MechAnimals also connects communities to one another, starting  by sharing our Detroit story, and then learning about the story of communities and their people around the country.

To book MechAnimals for your community, visit this page or contact Ariel Artists at

MechAnimals at Wasserman Projects in Detroit, MI.