Susan Cooley Gilliom Artist in Residence & Teaching Program

Artist Statement

Michelle Gregor sculpts the abstracted human figure in ceramic. Continuing the tradition of artists such as Manuel Neri and Stephen DeStaebler (with whom she worked during her graduate studies), Gregor’s forms apply the free, intuitive impulses of Abstract Expressionism to figurative representation.

Her pieces range in dimension from a few inches tall to architectural-scale bronzes, but are unified in their sense of calm, mass and balance, simultaneously suggesting motion and repose. Perhaps best known as a colorist, her painterly, multi-layered and multi-fired approach to surface endows her sculptures with a sense of depth and the passage of time.

Gregor has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from University of California, Santa Cruz and a Master of Fine Arts degree from San Francisco State University. She is a tenured Professor of Art at San Jose City College.


Current Work

SCG Events


Workshop Session I: All Skill Levels

June 15-18

Three days of hands-on workshopping with Michelle Gregor. 

  • Figure Studies
  • Hand building
  • Hands-on experimenting
  • Gesture
  •  Demos
    • preparing clay for construction
    • Improvisation
    • Hollowing clay for bisque firing 

Workshop Session II: All Skill Levels

June 22-24

Three more days with Michelle Gregor!

  • Figure Studies
    • contrapasto
    • groupings
    • narrative
  • More Demos!
    • Posture
    • Busts
    • Hands
    • Glazing
  • Prepping sculptures for firing 

Workshop Session III: Intermediate/Advanced

June 27-29

For ceramicists with intermediate to advanced skills

This workshop will take place in an open studio setting providing space to explore, experiment and reflect.  Artists with diverse approaches and backgrounds are welcome who can work independently with a basic understanding and knowledge of working with clay. Formal instruction will include a daily slide talk and a demonstration of Michelle’s working methods. 

This session emphasizes exploration within one’s personal style and encourages artists to apply the demonstrated concepts and techniques to their own work.


Artist Lecture

June 16

During the 3rd Saturday art walk Michelle Gregor will be giving a pre-reception lecture on her work in ceramics! Join us at 5PM for insight and a slideshow from our resident artist. Slideshow ends and moves straight into reception.

reception photo


June 16

Blue Line Arts will be hosting our monthly 3rd Saturday reception during the Art Walk, this month as a special reception to welcome and celebrate this years SCG Artist Michelle Gregor. Come by between 6:30 and 8:30 PM to look at the art, chat with friends, and eat some snacks!


Dinner with the Artist

June 23

Join us for a private dinner at Blue Line Arts with Artist Michelle Gregor who will be spending the evening with guests in an intimate setting. Follow the link for more info, member/non-member pricing, and to purchase tickets for yourself and any guests.

About the Susan Cooley Gilliom Artist in Residence & Teaching Program

Through an endowed gift by Sue Cooley (Susan’s mother) and the Sky View Foundation, this fund lovingly memorializes Susan and her contributions as a local artist and environmental advocate. It is a lasting gift to the many artists, arts educators and students, and arts enthusiasts we are fortunate to have in our community.

The ART program develops and enhances the visual arts through short-term residencies and workshops taught by nationally-established and highly reputable artists who create in a range of media. Past visiting artists include: Michelle Ross, Richard Notkin, Katherine Ace, Laura Ross Paul, Tip Toland, Sergei Isupov and Phoebe Toland.

In 2010, the Susan Cooley-Gilliom Artist in Residence and Teaching Program (ART) Program was established at the Placer Community Foundation through an endowed gift made in memory of Susan by her family.  The ART program represents a lasting legacy to the beloved local artist and environmental advocate.  Short-term residencies and workshops taught by nationally established and highly-reputable artists are offered to develop and enhance the visual arts in Placer County.  To learn more about Susan and this lasting gift to the community, visit

A program of Blue Line Arts in Partnership with the Placer Community Foundation