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The Student News Site of Burke High School

The Burke Beat

The Student News Site of Burke High School

The Burke Beat

Art students add Bulldogs to teacher classrooms

Paige Katz

Brian Anderson has been teaching art curriculum here for the last 21 years, spanning regular and honors art, sculpture, and AP Studio. For over the last decade, art teacher Anderson has assigned his students the task of creating personalized bulldogs for any staff member. Each year, staff members vie for the opportunity to obtain one. Anderson drew inspiration for these sculptures from art installations around Omaha.

“Here in Omaha, there were these sculptures called the J Doe Sculptures,” Anderson said. “They’re just basic figures, and artists took that concept, modified it, and placed them in specific locations around town.” These sculptures inspired the assignment for Anderson.

Each year, Anderson sends out an email chain to all staff, including teachers, security guards, and secretaries. The first ten to respond get to claim a bulldog. In minutes, Anderson receives multiple requests from teachers and places the rest on a waiting list. Then, his sculpture class chooses which of those ten staff members they would like to design for. Afterward, each student conducts an interview with the staff member to figure out how to personalize their bulldog to their liking. The bulldog doesn’t have to be related to their profession; it could be based on film or book characters, any location, or anything that matches what they want or their personality.

“I have been a Bulldog for 14 years, and they have always been a rite of passage,” said Amanda Howe, an English teacher. “They are really hard to get because only 10 teachers get them a year. So, when I was finally able to get a bulldog, I was so excited to have one and to talk about the concept of my bulldog.”

Overall, these unique sculptures boost Burke spirit for the teachers. It’s a fun assignment for students, and the staff reaps the rewards.

“It’s fun for the kids and lets the school know what the art kids are doing,” said Anderson. “It’s a way to share what we do with the staff and involve them, not just showcase our work. They get to keep a piece of one of these kids’ artworks, and who knows, they might become famous one day.”

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