“Unum” Art Sculpture Unveiled to Public in Santa Rosa


The new stainless steel sculpture — named ‘Unum’ — was just recently finished being constructed in late January. The sculpture was inspired by the unified Old Courthouse in Santa Rosa, and therefore, it was built right by courthouse square. ‘Unum’ was built to symbolize the diversity and unity within the residents of Sonoma County. The grand reveal night, which was Jan. 25, included speeches from Natalie Rogers, the Santa Rosa Mayor, Tara Thompson, the City of Santa Rosa Arts & Culture Manager, and the Unum sculpture artist, Blessing Hancock.

The sculpture contains 34 different languages, those being; 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, and Vietnamese. The metal loop swirl is lit with LED lights all throughout, making it even more beautiful at night. The sculpture also contains words that represent Sonoma County and the people: Belonging, Care, City, Community, Diversity, Equality, Equity, Family, Friendship, Kindness, Love, Neighborhood, Peace, People, Resilience, Respect, and Unity.

In order to make this possible, residents from Sonoma County submitted surveys stating the languages they spoke and words they thought embodied the County. These surveys helped determine what languages and locutions would be used for the sculpture. Blessing Hancock, the artist from Tucson, Arizona, then did her magic and came up with this design. The detail is quite immense and the sculpture itself is just unbelievably unique. The total cost of this project was later estimated to be around $300,000.

‘Unum’ ironically means ‘togetherness’ in Latin, which just makes the sculpture that much more meaningful. The design shows how we all interweave with each other, despite our differences.