Breaker Artist Spotlight: Meg Gardner’s artistic journey in Laguna Beach High School’s ceramics program

The ceramics program at Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) offers a comprehensive journey into the world of ceramic arts, beginning with Ceramics 1 and advancing through to AP Studio Art 3D Design. Open to students from grades 9-12, the program provides a solid foundation in clay-building techniques and surface finishing effects.

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Photos courtesy of LBUSD

Meg Gardner in the school studio

Under the expert instruction of Somer Selway, a seasoned educator with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in ceramics and a master’s degree in education, students develop their technical skills and artistic expression. The program culminates in the AP Studio Art 3D Design course, where students create high-quality, college-level artworks.

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Gardner with LBHS Ceramics Teacher Somer Selway

In this edition of Student Artist Spotlight, they proudly feature the exceptional work of Meg Gardner, a ceramics student whose journey and achievements exemplify the excellence of the LBHS program.

“Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic when she first took up ceramics, Meg quietly excelled, and her passion for clay was unmistakable. Watching her grow into a peer mentor and a leader has been incredibly inspiring,” said LBHS Ceramics Teacher Somer Selway. “Meg’s dedication, resilience and ability to balance so many responsibilities while still creating amazing art is nothing short of phenomenal. She truly embodies the spirit of perseverance and creativity, and I am so proud of everything she has accomplished,” she concluded.

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Gardner working on her ceramic pieces

Here is a Q&A with Gardner to learn more about her artistic journey and inspirations.

Q: What initially drew you to ceramics, and how has your interest evolved over the years?

A: I’ve always loved art. Throughout my early childhood, I experimented with so many different mediums. When I came to high school, I was so excited to learn something new. Little did I know how much I would end up absolutely loving ceramics.

Q: What is your favorite piece that you have created, and why does it hold special significance for you?

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Gardner’s favorite piece – Spiky Vase

 A: My favorite piece that I created is a spiky vase. For me, it really symbolizes everything that I have learned in ceramics. I took multiple different techniques and pulled them together making something that is truly my own.

Q: What advice would you give to other students interested in pursuing ceramics or starting an art club?

A: Some of my biggest advice is to take your art credit earlier in high school. There are so many students who take art for the first time during their senior year and absolutely love it but are unable to pursue it on their own. If any student has a love or even an interest in art, just take the class.

Q: What are your future plans, and how do you see ceramics fitting into them?

A: I’m currently undecided in my specific college choice, but I am planning on majoring in biology with a minor in ceramics.

LBUSD extends an invitation to local community members to inspire the next generation. If you work in arts, media, or entertainment, they encourage you to share your journey and insights with students. Connect with Work-Based Learning Technician Staci Stangarone at sstangarone@lbusd.org to join them as a guest speaker in their school’s career talks and play a vital role in shaping the aspirations of LBHS students.


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