COLUMBIA, S.C. — The City of Columbia received a generous donation from the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation Wednesday. One Columbia for the Arts and Culture helped facilitate the project.
It's called the 'I Love You' sculpture and it sits on the corner of Senate and Lincoln Streets in the Vista.
At four feet tall, the sculpture is a hand forming the American Sign Language symbol for "I love you." It's made from different hands that were created by students.
The artist, Bob Doster, worked with over 200 students, tracing their hands and helping them weld the sculpture together.
"It shows the students that they can really do whatever they put their mind to," Doster says. "They have, I think, been very successful in getting this out and they have left a legacy gift that'll be here when they're as old as I am."
The ceremony was attended by local leaders like Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and Councilman Howard Duvall.
"It's just a wonderful way to help remind each and every one of us that we're in this together. You can look at these handprints and ... realize that each one of these hands make up a great mosaic that's beautiful. It represents each and every one of us individually and collectively," says Mayor Benjamin.
The idea for the sculpture started two years ago when SCSDB Fine Arts Director, Josh Padgett, came up with the project. With the help of the South Carolina Arts in the Basic Curriculum Project and the SC School for the Deaf and Blind Foundation, he was given a $10,000 grant to fund the sculpture.
"This means, what can happen when people from all different backgrounds come together and we can get support from different agencies," said Padgett.
This is not the only sculpture created through this project. A sister sculpture was installed in downtown Spartanburg, which is home to the SCSDB campus.
Padgett says they plan on creating another sculpture in the future with Bob Doster. This time, it will focus on braille. All the students at SCSDB will be involved this time.