CMA Stories

Map My Hand Inspired by Julia Kunin

Sculptor Julia Kunin makes otherworldly and often semi-figurative forms with iridescent surfaces that shimmer and shine in the light. Her artwork Iridescent Gorilla Hand is included in CMA’s 2021 Art Auction and Fundraiser Exhibition, Now is Not the Time, which brings together over 40 world-class contemporary artists responding in ways both subtle and profound to issues of social justice.

Like humans, gorillas have five fingers and opposable thumbs. You may even think Kunin’s sculpture represents a human hand at first! Take a deeper look at your palm and notice the lines that stretch vertically and horizontally. They resemble a road map, with intersecting pathways and curves, telling where you have been and where you are going. Using the shape of your hand, create a sculpture that translates the lines on your hand into actual maps. You can even use metallic paint or glitter to give your sculpture an iridescent sheen!


  • Armature Wire
  • Construction Paper
  • Map
  • Marker
  • Masking Tape
  • Scissors
  • Wirecutters

Step 1

Using a marker, trace your hand on the front of the construction paper.

Step 2

Cut lengths of armature wire and tape into place where your fingers would normally go down to the wrist.

Step 3

Using scissors, cut out the tracing of your hand.

Step 4

Apply glue to the side without the armature wires and tape.

Step 5

Choose a section of a map and place it face down. Place the construction paper hand glue side down onto the back of your map.

Step 6

Cut around the hand to remove the excess map.

Step 7

Create a base with the long wire (about a 12”) and attach it to the middle of the wrist area. Bend it into a stand.

Step 8

Bend your hand into different gestures to give it a natural look.


CMA’s 2021 Art Auction and Fundraiser Exhibition, Now is Not the Time, takes place virtually from February 25 to March 11 in partnership with Artsy. Proceeds from the fundraiser exhibition ensure the continuation of CMA’s mission to provide vital access to the arts for children of all backgrounds and abilities from around the globe.

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