Lancaster, SC, Artist Bob Doster Helps Students Explore Their Creativity

The Spring has been a busy time for students of all ages, with Lancaster, SC, artist Bob Doster conducting week-long residencies for a multitude of schools. With the benefit of Doster’s experience and expertise, campuses throughout the Carolinas now boast steel benches, monumental metal works, and wall sculptures. The creations are completely designed by the students and either fabricated in outdoor classrooms or in Backstreet Studio in downtown Lancaster, SC.

Laurel Park Elementary School sculpture

Laurel Park Elementary School students created a 12’ sculpture for a Cary, NC, public art project, while Anderson, SC, students are leaving a lasting legacy with a gigantic yellow jacket mounted on the outside of Hanahan High School. SC’s state tree, the Palmetto is a popular theme with schools, with the latest being erected on the grounds of Landrum, SC, Middle School. Center for Inquiry Elementary School in Columbia, SC, has a circular sculpture depicting the many activities the students enjoy, reminiscent of a similar one created by Indian Land High School. A magnificent stainless steel abstract sculpture has a place of honor at Anderson, SC’s Arts Magnet School, creating a lasting tribute to the creativity and imagination of young people.

Sculpture at Hanahan High School

Doster has been traveling and teaching all ages of students for nearly forty years, and his ability to inspire seems to grow with the numbers of classrooms he visits on an annual basis.

When Doster is not in schools, he is in his downtown Lancaster studio, producing conceptual designs for exhibition and competitions, as well as corporate commissions and collaborative public art projects. Recent national juried shows which accepted his works include Maria V. Howard Arts Center “57th National Multi-Media Juried Art Exhibition” in Rocky Mount, NC; “Art in Nature” at Greenwood Gardens and Studio Montclair in Montclair, NJ; and Beach Comber Art at Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center in Dowell, MD.

Doster’s works were selected for “Palmetto Hands Exhibit” at North Charleston Arts Festival, where he received an honorable mention for a sculpture from the “Wind & Waves” series and his “Dancer” stainless steel sculpture was chosen for the “Palmetto Hands Traveling Show”.  Works were also selected by the SC Arts Foundation for sale at its recent SC Arts Gala Art Auction in Columbia SC. The monumental sculpture “Wind & Waves II”, which was exhibited in Lake City, SC for “Artfields 2014” is traveling to Graham, NC, where it has been selected for exhibit during “Willow Walk”, coming up in June 2014.

Sculpture at Historic Courthouse and County Judicial Corner

While Doster is somewhat of a “road warrior”, traveling from school to school and delivering works to galleries and museums, the evidence of his strong ties to his hometown of Lancaster, SC, are evident throughout the “Red Rose City”. His base of operations, Backstreet Studio/Gallery/Garden is housed in a row of five former pool halls and cafes a block and a half off Main Street. A few blocks over, early works from the 1970’s form a small sculpture park with a Ralph Waldrop Mural as the backdrop. Benches designed by fifth graders, under his instruction, grace Main Street, with steel rose-themed fencing completing the streetscape project that won a MASC award. A mammoth stainless steel sculpture inspired by Robert Mill’s famous palladium windows stands on the back lawn of the Historic Courthouse and County Judicial Corner. Red Rose Park on Main Street provides a perfect setting for large sculptures that await travel to locations outside the city and a visit to almost any school in the county provides evidence of Doster’s work with hometown students over the years.

To schedule a school residency, field trip to Backstreet, or downtown tour itinerary, contact Bob Doster at 803/285-9190, stop by the studio at 217 East Gay Street, Lancaster SC 29720, or visit (

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