Debra Hand

Active In: 
Child Figure/Portrait
Portrait Bust Sculpture
Best of Show in sculpture from Museum of Science and Indus
Winner in sculpture caategory of the "Best Great Artist"
President Barack Obama; Chicago Park Distric;t Magic Johnson, Richard Hunt, Dr. Winnie Mandela, Spike Lee
MS Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering
Other Occupations: 
A subject-matter expert in both digital and fiber optics transmission systems before becming a ful-time artist.
About 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, Christopher Kennedy (son of RFK), Cicely Tyson, Smokey Robinson, 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, Frank Clark, James Reynolds, Sr., Melody Spann - Cooper, Eugene Morris, Deloris Jordan, Abe Thompson, Les Coney, Barbara Bates, Cheryl Burton, and Theresa Hooks.

Debra Hand has received many honors for her outstanding work. In 2013, the Museum of Science and Industry honored Hand with a "Best of Show" award in the sculpture category during the 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.