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Mello Cello

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Debra Hand
Ebony, walnut, and metal.
January, 2004
This musical instrument has been turned into a work of art by Illinois self-taught artist Debra Hand. She began working with stringed instruments after she was contacted by the Illinois Philaharmonic Orchestra, and challanged to use a violin to create an original work of art for their "Signatures in Silver" exhibit and fund-raiser.
Using this cello as her canvas, she created a "carved, old-world yet contemporary pattern on the surface of the instrument. I felt this would allow me to enhance the scuptural beauty that is inherent to the instrument."
The artist usually replaces the strings in the wrong order to discourage playing of the instruments, solidifying their transformation into works of art.
Debra Hand of Flossmoor, Illinois is one of only a few African-American femaile sculptors now working and exhibiting in the Midwest. She received her Masters degree in Information Technology from Northwestern University and produces a show in Chicago aimed to educate Chicago communities about African-American art, often using her artwork to support charitable organizations in that area.
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