Harrisburg Elementary is the latest school in Lancaster County School District to create its own unique legacy sculpture with local artist Bob Doster, who has been working with schools and students since the 1970s.
Approximately 150 fifth graders each drew a self portrait on steel. Doster helped them use a plasma cutter to finish the pieces. He will assemble the individual portraits into the final piece, which will be displayed in front of the school. The sculpture is designed to be cumulative, with the option for future students to add onto it in coming years.
The project was funded through a state Arts in Basic Curriculum grant. This is Harrisburg Elementary’s first year receiving the grant, which will also be used for professional development for teachers and a puppet show, says Harrisburg Elementary art teacher Melissa Hinson.
“All of our schools have worked with Bob,” said Hinson, who first met Doster at a pottery demonstration at Beaufort Elementary.
“He does a good job. He’s always willing to be a teacher,” Hinson said. “Bob’s been around students so long now, he’s good at knowing what to say. He knows that this is new to them and it’s great to see that patience modeled.”
Harrisburg Elementary third grade teacher Jennifer Galbraith recalls working on a project with Doster to create a bench nearly 20 years ago when she was a student at North Elementary in Lancaster.
“I remember it was really cool that my bench was there when I was teaching there,” Galbraith said.
“A lot of our teachers have been students under him at some point. I run into them all over the state,” Hinson said.
“I just wanted the students to meet him. I’m always a big fan of children using materials they wouldn’t normally use. When again are they going to use a plasma cutter? Probably never. They were all terrified, and then they walked away saying, ‘That was great.’”