Metal sculptor Bob Doster has been at the school this week working on a sculpture as part of an arts grant from the Chapman Cultural Center. On Friday, he showed a group of first-graders the finished but unpainted sculpture. At the top of the piece, are faces of children, drawn and designed by first-grader Elijah Roseburgh.
“I drew my friends because they’re my best friends and they’re nice to me,” he said, adding that he was very excited to see his design come to life.
Doster worked with all grade levels during the past four days to create a sculpture fitting the school’s motto “Leader in me.”
“The kindergartners did the best job. They’re fearless,” he said, adding that older students are more conscious of people watching them.
He said the kindergartners were awed by the plasma cutter, the tool he uses to cut metal, and the act of cutting the metal. He said the kindergartners were the best at taking instruction and following his lead.
Doster said that he began working with metal as a child, first picking up a torch when he was 8 years old. He’s been working with students since 1975 and estimates he’s sculpted with more than 100,000 students.
Claire Louka, art teacher at Cleveland Academy, said she was excited to have a metal sculptor in the classroom because sculpting, especially with metal, is something most elementary schools don’t get to do.
“I wanted a metal sculptor because it’s not something we can really do in class,” she said.
Louka gathered her students together Friday afternoon and had to work to maintain their attention. On Fridays, students can get a little restless, she said.
She had the class form a neat line at the door. Once they were quiet and lined-up, the students went outside to see the finished sculpture as the primer covering it dried.
The sculpture weighs about 200 pounds and features a tiger and the number seven, symbolizing the seven habits of effective people which emphasizes leadership skills. The number seven also represents School District 7.
Elijah beamed with pride when he saw his work at the top of the sculpture.
“I like drawing a lot,” he said. “This is cool.”