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Big Hands.

Big Hands

Field review by the editors.

Chico, California

"Our Hands," a 2000 work by artist Donna Billick, is a giant pair of cupped hands reaching up from the sidewalk outside of city hall. The fingertips are 12 feet high, and the hands are made of a steel framework covered with terrazzo -- a mix of cement, polished granite, and marble chips -- embedded with blocky tile images of the Chico area: leafless trees, a river, farm fields, houses.

At the time, the sculpture's $65,000 price tag was considered outrageous by conservatives on Chico's city council.

Billick advised that the hands' terrazzo surface be resealed every ten years. That wasn't done, and by 2017 the hands were becoming discolored, cracked, and in danger of leprous crumbling. An emergency allocation of $5,000 was needed to have the hands stripped, cleaned, patched, polished, and resealed.

Big Hands

411 Main St., Chico, CA
Downtown. On the south side of E. 4th St. at its intersection with Wall St. on wide pedestrian plaza.
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