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Sally Michener (1935 - 2023)

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By Guest Entry

Posted on June 23, 2023 | Updated June 23, 2023, 9:01am

Filed in Faculty, Staff

Sally, a longtime faculty member and dean at ECU, was a dedicated ceramicist who showed in well over 100 exhibitions during her career.

Alice "Sally" Michener passed away on May 15, 2023. She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Catherine Gronner, sister Joan, and brothers Jack and Rick.

Sally was born in Fergus Falls, Minnesota in 1935 and raised in both Topeka KS and Underwood, MN. She graduated magna cum laude from Hamline University, St Paul, MN, and received a BA in 1957. After earning her degree, Sally went on to pursue a Master of Social Work at Columbia University, NY.

It was at this time she decided to pursue a career in ceramics. Sally studied with Warren MacKenzie at the University of Minnesota, followed by a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Cincinnati in 1973. This started a 25-year career as a faculty member at Emily Carr Institute (now Emily Carr University) of Art and Design in Vancouver, BC, ultimately holding the position as Dean from 1994-1996.

Sally's students were mentored and encouraged to pursue their own careers in the field of ceramics or any field of art that inspired them. When she wasn't teaching, Sally spent her time traveling, with a focus on the visual arts. She had 17 one-person exhibitions and approximately 100 group exhibitions since 1970.

Sally's art is in 13 public collections, primarily in Canada, but also USA, China, Japan and Mexico. She was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1996. The human body and the column were basic subjects in her art work. She was interested with the inside as well as the outside of the human image, and how they relate to each other.

She often created installations in a garden context where her work both integrated with and altered the environment. She continued to be interested in formal, abstract or geometric composition, function and aesthetics. She enjoyed the process of working without knowing what the piece of art would look like at completion. Sally hoped the viewer enjoyed discovering many different relationships with her works of art.

Sally also loved and spent time with her children, Dan and Katy and grandchildren Eric and Kristina.

View Sally's obituary online.