Whether they had him as an art teacher in high school or elementary school, Mr. George Lundgren is a familiar face to many students at Edina. From his own schooling to his present career as a teacher, Lundgren’s interest in art has inspired those around him, and has taught students that aside from painting and sculpting, art can teach everyone what it means to be human.
Now a ceramics teacher at Edina High School, Lundgren’s past memories influenced his decision to teach art as a career. “My art teacher from high school [inspired me to become an art teacher]. I loved going to ceramics class and he was such a cool guy and I just found his personality inspirational,” Lundgren said.
In college, Lundgren studied abroad in Florence, Italy, and had the privilege of experiencing transformative and original works first hand. “I got to go to different museums every day and instead of reading textbooks, our professor would give us the handout and say, ‘Read this tonight and tomorrow we’re going to meet at this corner in this specific church where all these paintings are.’ So [we] would read about it and then actually go there which was fantastic,” Lundgren said.
Since then, his passion for art has carried over to his students, impacting them both artistically and perceptually. “Mr. Lundgren [has] taught me that ceramics takes a lot of patience and it’s not going to be perfect every time, so it’s okay to mess up and to not expect perfection right away,” sophomore and former ceramics student Maggie Gilligan said.
As for its role in society, Lundgren believes that art is an essential aspect of humanity. “We naturally are makers, whether we are making paintings in caves twenty-thousand years ago or we’re making pottery to drink or eat out of, our human evolution becomes art and all of history and the way we understand our past is through all the art that we have,” Lundgren said.