Art through the Generations - . . . from teacher to students
 
Ceramics
 
Planter
Planter
ceramic by Esther Painter Hagstrom
Pony
Pony
ceramic by Sarah Mott Durand
Angel
Angel
ceramic by Sarah Mott Durand
Jar
Jar
ceramic by Melody Hyde Morgan
Saber-toothed tiger
Saber-toothed tiger
ceramic by Hildegarde Jaeger Stubbs
Coronado High School’s art instruction in ceramics dates to at least 1939, when Esther Painter Hagstrom began teaching there. Some students used their hands to mold clay into animals, figurines, bowls and abstract designs. Other students used the potter’s wheel to help shape vases, pitchers and more bowls. Their creations were then fired in the kiln.
 
Sarah Mott Durand, Coronado High School class of 1948, recalls that the selection of colors for the decorative glazes was limited -- probably resulting from shortages during World War II. She remembers making a deer that was apple green – “not exactly the color one would choose for a deer.” But she made the piece for her mother whose favorite color was green.
 
Patty Murphy Jepson, Coronado High School class of 1948, jokingly says she was driven to drawing and painting because she had such difficulty controlling the potter’s wheel. Years later she learned how to carve wood, another medium for artistic expression.
 
Durand and Jepson went on to become accomplished artists, but they were among the minority. Some students felt that they had no talent for art while others simply weren’t interested, yet they ended up in art class because they needed an “elective.”
 
Within this larger group, several, such as Tom Shine, who attended Coronado High School in the late 1940s, remember Mrs. Hagstrom’s lessons on perspective. Joedy Cronin Adams, Coronado High School class of 1947, felt she gained an appreciation for art that she wouldn’t have had otherwise.
 
“I’m sure some students thought that because art was an elective, they could skate through class,” Adams said. “There was none of that. They learned something about art. Mrs. Hagstrom made sure of that.”
 
Melody Hyde Morgan, Coronado High School class of 1948, recalls that Mrs. Hagstrom always had creative projects for the students who weren’t destined to become Monet or Picasso.  Morgan jokingly says that her family’s “painting and drawing genes” skipped her -- noting that her daughter and late mother are very artistic. Morgan’s late aunt, Ella B. Ingle, (1895-1981) was a well known “plein air” painter in Coronado and San Diego.
 
The less artistically inclined students engaged in meaningful work such as painting stage sets for school plays, producing posters for school events and making Christmas decorations. Morgan specifically remembers working with bonsai trees in her art class.  She also worked with ceramics. She still has a small jar adorned with a rose on the lid. It is pictured here.
 
Because Mrs. Hagstrom was in charge of art curriculum for the Coronado School District, she brought art lessons, including ceramics instruction, into the elementary and junior high schools. The clay pieces were fired in the kiln located at Coronado High School.
 
Hildegarde Jaeger Stubbs, who attended Coronado High School, remembers making a saber-toothed tiger when she was in the seventh grade.  At the time Stubbs had been studying prehistoric animals, and she was fascinated by cats.
 
Her figurine, which is seven inches long, portrays a big cat on the move, with two paws pushing off the ground.  “That’s the thing you want in art -- to capture emotion and feeling -- whatever you’re expressing, however you’re expressing it,” Stubbs said.
 
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