Alice Beryl Michener
May 15th, 2023
Alice "Sally" Michener, preceded in death by her parents, John and Catherine Gronner, sister, Joan and brothers, Jack and Rick. Sally passed away on May 15, 2023. Sally was born in Fergus Falls, Minnesota in 1935 and raised in both Topeka KS and Underwood, MN. Sally 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 and studied with Warren MacKenzie, at the University of MN; 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 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.
Sally was one of my advisors at Emily Carr in 1998. I remember her as kind, joyful, considered, and the snappiest of dressers. The colours that she both wore and exuded through her personality were always radiant. I really looked up to Sally as a young artist just starting out--she had so much to offer and did so with grace. I am sending the family my most heartfelt condolences.
Condolences to the family. Sally was a generous person, sharing her enthusiasm for ceramics. Fun to share activities with.
I have such fond memories of camaraderie in the Emily Carr studios 1984-89 and traveling through southern Mexico with Sally in the lead. She was so generous with her time and care towards us.
How very sad. Sally was one of my favourite teachers at Emily Carr. A super artist. She was instrumental in me continuing as an artist after leaving art school. Sending my deepest sympathies to her family.
My deepest condolences for your loss. I worked for Sally as a sessional instructor in ceramics at Emily Carr, and later, we participated in 2 residencies together in Mexico and at the Banff Centre. She and I drove out to Banff together in her red sports car. Even though at that time, she was one of the elders of our group, her energy was unmatched by the younger participants. I had a few visits at her home, which was like a beautiful, living museum. And I often ride by her benches on the Victoria Drive bike route, and am reminded of how she forged a path as a strong and independent woman, with a rich creative life.
Sally was an intelligent, compassionate woman, a wonderful friend and an artistic inspiration. I miss her.
Dear Katy and Dan, Sending deep condolences to you both. Sally was my teacher at Emily Carr in the late 1980s. She was a kind and empathetic teacher whose openness and playful spirit supported her student’s paths.
Condolences to Sally's family and to the many students she mentored over the years. I will always remember Sally for her generous spirit and the thoughtful encouragement she showed her students, her sculpture that challenged with it's freedom, joy and confrontation. And, her smile, oh what a beautiful smile.
Dear Sally, your absence is deeply felt and we truly miss you. It was a great privilege to have studied Ceramics with you. One of my strongest memories of our time together was when we explored the Pottery village and delved into the rich history of Mexico back in 1988. It was an eye-opening experience that significantly impacted my approach to ceramics. This memory will forever hold a special place in my heart...
Sally always seemed ageless with her gleeful enthusiasm of both her students and her own creative ideas. She lent a kind touch in a place where kindness wasn’t always deemed “cool”. Sally was pure color and confidently showed us that we could be colorful too. Thank you Sally for being the most marvelous you. Love, Georgina
Thank you Sally for welcoming me into VSA in 1975 when I arrived unannounced and simply ❤️ wanted to make pots.