Judy’s Hand Pavilion is a dramatic piece of public art that doubles as a gathering spot in Toby’s Plaza, a space that was designed to foster the intersection of arts, technology, academia, and entertainment
The 21-foot-tall fiberglass hand looks as though it’s reaching down from the sky to grip the earth. The hand was painted silver to transcend racial barriers and remind viewers of the universality of the human experience. Today, Judy’s Hand is more than a great photo-op; it’s a gathering space where kids play on the fingers as though they are tree branches, people do yoga under its shade, and families use the pavilion to host get-togethers.
Judy’s Hand Pavilion was commissioned in 2018 as part of the first FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, an arts festival which features over 100 artists in Northeast Ohio. With help from The Putnam Committee and local philanthropist Toby Devan Lewis, FRONT International approached Chicago-based artist, Tony Tasset, to design the innovative structure. Tasset’s work often features small, everyday objects expanded to gigantic proportions and is usually satirical in nature. However, for this piece, Tasset wanted to create something playful, inviting, and community-building to fit with Front’s 2018 Theme “An American City.”
Hear what Tony Tasset has to say about Judy's Hand Pavilion's installation in the video below.