The City of Santa Rosa Public Art Program is pleased to announce the installation of “Unum” by Blessing Hancock in Old Courthouse Square. This artwork sits on the unceded territorial land of the Southern Pomo People, past and present, and honors with gratitude the land itself and the people who have tended it throughout time. “Unum” (Latin for ‘oneness or together’) places emphasis on innovation, diversity, and engagement as leading values of Santa Rosa.
Installation of the sculpture will be completed, and the fencing removed, by Jan. 25, and the public is invited to attend the dedication ceremony the following day on Thursday, Jan. 26, from 5 to 6 p.m. Join the Art in Public Places Committee, Santa Rosa Public Art Program staff, and artist Blessing Hancock in celebrating this site-specific sculpture in Old Courthouse Square. The ceremony will include music and light refreshments.
Blessing Hancock’s “Unum” was approved by the Art in Public Places Committee in December 2020 after an extensive selection process. Inspired by the unified Old Courthouse Square, “Unum” is an illuminated, volumetric enclosure of light and language that serves as an icon for the Square, a community hub within the city. Blessing’s artistic design created a signature, multi-sensory (light, shadow, color) artwork with different daytime and dusk-to-dark experiences. The sculpture highlights the area’s unique location and ties to the local ecosystem and culture. The surface pattern represents the community’s aspirations, through text collected during public outreach opportunities. Languages include Amharic, Arabic, Cantonese, Coast Miwok, Dari, English, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Ilokano, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Mandarin, Miao Hmong, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Samoan, Somali, Southern Pomo, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Tigrinya, Vietnamese. The sculpture is approximately 12’ high and 15’ diameter and fabricated out of water jet cut stainless steel and LED lights.
About Blessing Hancock
Blessing Hancock is a Tucson, Ariz., artist who focuses on site specific sculpture, using light to invigorate and enliven spaces and providing opportunities for people to engage through sight, touch and movement. She has years of experience installing and creating innovate public spaces in Calgary, Denver, Portland, San Antonio, Orland, and Palo Alto, among others, and has extensive experience working with city agencies. Community engagement is an essential component of Blessing’s work, and often works with community groups.
About Imagine Art in Old Courthouse Square
The Public Art Program issued a Request for Qualifications seeking an artist or team of artists to design, fabricate and install site-specific public art at the north end of Old Courthouse Square which is the terminus of Mendocino Avenue in Downtown Santa Rosa. The Public Art Program received over 140 submissions from artists across the country. A selection panel was formed representing arts professionals, downtown business and property owners, downtown residents, and the Art in Public Places Committee.
To get updated project information, please visit SRCity.org/arts.