Agraria - the giant hand.

Giant Hand

Field review by the editors.

Santa Rosa, California

This highly visible sculpture is in a northern California city with a community supportive of public art -- whether it's characters from Charle Schulz's Peanuts, survivors in a Cancer Gauntlet installation, or an obelisk made from junk bicycles. The Giant Hand is a soft-edged stone carving, sitting outside Santa Rosa Plaza's main entrance. It serves to dilute the hard edges of downtown.

Agraria - the giant hand.

The 7.5 ton hand was created by environmental artist Larry Kirkland and installed at the mall in December 1996. Its proper title is "Agraria," though it has been referred to locally as "The Severed Hand" (because, honestly, we get it, and the stump end has a rougher cut). Agraria is 12 ft. long and 6 ft. tall, expertly whittled from Carrara marble by master carvers in Torrano, Italy. Thirty-three inscribed black granite pavers around it were part of the original installation.

The design at first suggests (to us) a friendly, generic insurance company logo of safety and well-being. The hand is accessible on all sides, and invites visitors to lean in and snuggle with the palm and fingers. The artist's intent was to depict a more hard-working hand, though -- one that has scattered seeds, as a tribute to the region's soil tillers and toilers, including Native America tribes, settlers and newer immigrants.

In 2020, Agraria's prominent Carrara marble whiteness acted as a magnet for BLM activists, who painted it black. The mall owner had cleaned off anti-police graffiti earlier that same year.

Giant Hand

Address:
B St., Santa Rosa, CA
Directions:
In front of the Santa Rosa Plaza, 4th St. and B St.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Peanuts StatuesPeanuts Statues, Santa Rosa, CA - < 1 mi.
Cancer Survivor PlazaCancer Survivor Plaza, Santa Rosa, CA - < 1 mi.
Valiant Junk Art FirefighterValiant Junk Art Firefighter, Santa Rosa, CA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Noah's Ark, Sebastopol, CA - 7 mi.

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