Yvonne R. Hobbs (1939— )
Supporting Hands, c. 1986 (Dedicated 1988)
Bronze, upper base- bluestone, lower base- concrete
Binghamton General Hospital Outdoor Courtyard, Mitchell Avenue
Administered by United Health Services Foundation Binghamton, NY
Supporting Hands was designed to symbolize donor support to the United Health Services Foundation. Located in the outdoor courtyard at Binghamton General Hospital, the sculpture is a permanent tribute to those who have demonstrated their generosity to the UHS. Artist Yvonne Robare Hobbs was commissioned, June 25, 1985, to design a sculpture to symbolize the caring mission of UHS, while recognizing donor support to the Foundation.
Supporting Hands is composed of a young right hand supporting an older work worn hand. Seated upon these hands is a group of figures: a grandfather, child, and mother indicative of the need for cross generational interaction for mutual benefit. Further demonstrating the importance of those who venture before us, the artists used the lost wax process, which dates back to 4000 B.C.E., to achieve the detail present in this sculpture. This technique requires time and effort which was another form of donation to the UHS.
First, Hobbs created maquettes in order to create her desired illustration. They would later be used to scale to the appropriate size. When the full scale model was finalized, it was sectioned off in order to make removable, reusable, rubber molds. Once the molds were created they were assembled and connected using several layers of liquid wax. When the wax shells hardened they were removed and reassembled. The next steps included draining the wax, pouring the molten metal, and making sure the system was properly vented. The burn out took place over a few days. Then the molten bronze was poured and allowed to cool down overnight. Finally, the surface patina of acrylic resin was added through the application of heat and chemicals.
Yvonne Robare Hobbs achieved a MFA in sculpture with honors from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She also received a BS in art education from SUNY Buffalo, New York. The recipient of many awards and honors, Hobbs has exhibited her work in individual shows at such prestigious galleries as Cape May County Art League, NJ and Studio School and Art Gallery, Binghamton, NY. She also participated in the Imagination Celebration located in Binghamton, NY. Hobbs’ work reflects and is influenced by her belief in the interrelationship of all elements in our environment. Using wax as her primary material, she is able to develop and refine her ideas to allow others to visualize the interrelationships apparent to her.
Researched by: Jillian Proscia