About the Artist - Debra Hand
Debra Hand is an award-winning sculptor, painter, and multi-media artist whose works are preserved in world-class institutions such as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the DuSable Museum. She was discovered by Dr. Margaret Burroughs, the legendary artist and DuSable Museum founder, who personally arranged for Hand's first public exhibit. Since that time, Debra Hand has become one of the most commissioned female sculptors in Chicago when it comes to honoring diverse Americans who have achieved historical significance. When the Chicago Park District and the Dunbar Advisory Council elected to honor Paul Laurence Dunbar, the most significant African-American poet and writer in history, they chose Debra Hand to create this important monument. The 9 foot tall sculpture of Dunbar now stands in the Chicago park named in his honor.
Among the history makers who own her sculptures are: President Barack Obama, Dr. Winnie Mandela, Oprah, Former Astronaut - Dr. Mae Jemison, Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Harry Belafonte, Stedman Graham, Smokey Robinson, Cicely Tyson, Dominique Wilkins, Magic Johnson, Gabby Douglas, Linda Johnson-Rice, Congressman Bobby Rush, LL Cool J, Seal, Rachel Robinson ( wife of the late baseball legend, Jackie Robinson), Anna Roosevelt (grand-daughter of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt), Natalie Cole, and others; and one of her sculptures was owned and adored by the late Dr. Maya Angelou. Chicago luminaries such as Sculptor Richard Hunt, Merri Dee, Dwyane Wade & Gabriel Union, Barbara Bates, Barbara Bowles, and Cheryl Burton..
Debra Hand has received many honors for her outstanding work. She was recently honored with a Cultural Icon Award by the Egretha Foundation and has been awarded a "Best of Show" Ribbon in the sculpture category by the Museum of Science and Industry during their annual BC Exhibition. Additionally, she was the Chicago winner of Russell Simmons "Next Great Artist - National Search" in partnership with the Bombay Sapphire Artisan's Series; voted "Artist of the Year" by the African-American Arts Alliance; named as one of the Chicago Defender Newspaper's "Top 50 Women of Excellence;" and honored with the Dr. Margaret Burroughs Award by the South Side Community Arts Center. Hand has been featured by Harry Porterfield in his news segment "Someone You Should Know," and her work is featured in the Emmy winning documentary "Curators of Culture" produced by Rita Coburn Whack, as well as featured in the book "African Art: The Diaspora and Beyond" by art historian and author Daniel Texidore Parker.
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