Screaming Hand

Celebrate 30 years of youth and skateboard culture with the iconic Screaming Hand image.

Exhibited from August 5th, 2016 – March 26th, 2017

Explore how the iconic Screaming Hand has left an impression around the world.

The unforgettable blue hand turned 30 in 2016. Celebrate the birthday of this icon and enjoy original art by Jim Phillips and 200 other contemporary artists inspired by this fundamental image of skate culture.

Graphic artist Jim Phillips is best known for his surf and skateboard art. Born in San Jose in 1944, Jim has been a local resident of Santa Cruz for most of his life. He was Art Director at NHS in the 1970s and 1980s where he created thousands of decks, t-shirts, stickers, product illustrations and advertisements.

Screaming 1
“I’m often asked where I got the idea for the Screaming Hand...In typical surf scenes, I would draw a big wave and a goofy surfer with sight gags like circling shark fins or a clenched hand sticking out of the water like a drowning guy. That intrigued me after I saw a drowned guy at the beach, snot coming out of his nose after some men tried to revive him, the first dead person I ever saw. Stuck in my mind, I drew the clenched hand on my book covers and notepads."

- Jim Phillips, artist

Revisit Opening Night

MAH Members and friends of NHS experienced Screaming Hand before it opened to anyone else.

Meet the Artist

Free First Friday Screaming Hand Exhibition Opening 28433211343 O


Jim Phillips

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More Santa Cruz History

Visit the History Gallery
Discover other artists, activists, and laborers who have made Santa Cruz County what it is today.
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"The cartoon image has become a pillar of the art scene, especially in Santa Cruz."

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"The Hand is pure Santa Cruz."

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"...when combined with our local art culture, this city has generated surf and skate artwork unlike anywhere else."

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With thanks to our generous sponsors.

Get Inspired Today

Screaming Hand may have come and gone, but there's plenty to discover in our current exhibitions.