Judy’s Hand Pavilion arrives at Toby’s Plaza as part of citywide contemporary-art exhibition

All photos by Robert Mueller.Tony Tasset looks at Judy's Hand Pavilion piece on Toby's PlazaTony Tasset with piece of Judy's Hand Pavilion

Over the past week, a new public art installation has taken shape at Toby’s Plaza: Judy’s Hand Pavilion, part of this summer’s FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art.

The piece, designed by Chicago-based artist Tony Tasset, is a silver hand that stands at about 25 feet tall and 7 1/2 feet from the heel of the hand to the ground. At the wrist, it is approximately 10 feet wide. Its exterior is fiberglass, while concrete fills the fingers.

The sculpture is intended to double as a public shelter and gathering spot on Toby’s Plaza, an open space made possible by the support of alumna Toby Devan Lewis, a local author, art curator and philanthropist.

Tasset created the piece in honor of his wife, Judy Ledgerwood, a contemporary abstract painter. FRONT and the Putnam Collection of Case Western Reserve University jointly developed the project.

Judy’s Hand Pavilion is one of several pieces citywide in FRONT’s International’s “An American City” exhibition, which runs officially from July 14 to Sept. 30.

Constructing Art

The artwork was fabricated in Morton Grove, Illinois, just outside Chicago. Arriving on trucks last week in three pieces, the pieces traveled through downtown Cleveland and past Adelbert Hall.

The thumb portion, which was separated into two pieces, and the remaining part of the hand were installed and joined together throughout last week. Once in place, the joints were smoothed over and a final finish was applied. Now, finishing touches—such as the installation of lights and the laying of sod—are being put in place before the official opening of Judy’s Hand Pavilion.

Opening Celebration

Get an up-close look at Judy’s Hand Pavilion at the FRONT Opening Concert Celebration Saturday, July 14, from 6 to 9 p.m. in Uptown.

For the first time, Euclid Avenue between Mayfield Road and East 115th Street will be closed, as attendees enjoy music, dancing and refreshments on the street.

Jupiter & Okwess, a band from Kinshasa, Congo, will bring traditional Congolese rhythms into contemporary African music.

Festivities start at 6 p.m., with the music beginning at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public for guests of all ages.

Learn more about the event at frontart.org/event/front-opening-concert-celebration/.

Read more about the sculpture at thedaily.case.edu/judys-hand-pavilion-sculpture-celebrated-artist-tony-tasset-planned-tobys-plaza/.