Drivers traveling Columbia’s Lincoln Street will soon be greeted by a visual message from the students at the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind.
The school’s students worked with SC artist Bob Doster to create a unique sculpture that features the “I Love You” hand sign of American Sign Language (ASL). It will be dedicated on Oct. 23 at 10 a.m. at its permanent location on the corner of Lincoln and Senate Streets.
Over two years ago, students began creating two sculptures – one for Columbia and one for Spartanburg. They traced their hands onto metal and then cut the metal into hand shapes under the direction of Doster. They were assisted by local and state leaders who were invited to join them. The sculpture frames and components then traveled to Doster’s Lancaster studio for final assembly.
SCSDB Fine Arts Director Josh Padgett came up with the idea for the sculptures and obtained funding for the $10,000 project through the South Carolina Arts in the Basic Curriculum Project and the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation. He then selected Bob Doster to serve as lead artist for the project. Doster is best known in South Carolina for his stainless steel palmetto sculptures. His sculptures adorn businesses, corporate headquarters, cities, and private homes all over the country.
The school’s foundation helped choose downtown Columbia as the long-term location for the sculpture. “Columbia is central to our state and is the home of our statewide division of outreach services,” said Sam Hook, executive director of the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation. A second sculpture was placed in Spartanburg, the location of the school’s main campus.
Cathi Holst, an SCSDB graduate and an ASL teacher at the school, said the sculpture sends a universal message. “Even hearing people use this sign to tell their family members they love them – whether they know sign language or not,” she said.
The SC School for the Deaf and the Blind: Based in Spartanburg, the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind is the state’s specialized school for students who are deaf or blind. It offers pre K-12 educational programs on its main campus in Spartanburg and specialized vision and hearing services in school districts and homes throughout the state. For more information, go to www.scsdb.org.
Arts in the Basic Curriculum Project: The SC School for the Deaf and the Blind is designated an advanced school by the Arts in the Basic Curriculum (ABC) project. The ABC project provides leadership to achieve quality, comprehensive arts education (dance, music, media arts, theatre, visual arts, and creative writing) for all students in South Carolina. The project is cooperatively directed by the SC Arts Commission, the SC Department of Education, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University. For more information, go to http://www.abcprojectsc.com .
The SC School for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation: Founded in 1979 for the sole purpose of working directly with the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind, the foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to securing resources that enable the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind to achieve its mission and goals. For more information, go to www.scsdbfoundation.org.
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