S: Richard Eugene Salay 1940-2010
FC: Richard Eugene Salay 1940 - 2010
1: The Many Hats of | Richard Eugene Salay
2: Son of Eugene & Margaret Salay
4: Brother to Robert Salay
5: He became Jean Ziegler's husband on July 30, 1966
8: Father to Brian & Christina Salay
11: A Grandfather
12: He Loved His Family
15: A Friend to Many
17: An Adventurer & Traveler
21: A Comedian
22: "The last time I saw him I was about 8 months pregnant. He walked through our front door and said, "Hiya, Fatty!" with a huge smile on his face. You know someone is very special when they can call a pregnant woman "fatty" and she giggles with glee." Jeanne Delano
23: Roman Catholic? | A quote from Junior High | He even found humor in losing his hair from the cancer treatments. Hello Dr. Evil!
24: Dog Lover | Car Lover | After the Fiat he bought another car that he absolutely loved, a white Porche. Many years later this Saab convertible became his next car crush. | Fiat Ghia
25: He loved dancing to the Popcorn song when Christina & Brian were kids | A Dancer
26: A Romantic
27: A Lover of Life....A Dreamer
31: Richard was very spiritual...
32: ... and a Philosopher
35: He often spent Thursday nights at Church, aka Kazimierz Jazz Club, with his close friend Larry.
37: Some Things You May Not Have Known About Richard | He was senior class president in junior high school | He was an Emmy Award winning producer. | He attended Cass Tech after spending one semester at Farmington High. He graduated in 1958. | He won a city wide poster contest in Junior High for a frozen food ad. The headline read "As cold as the nose on a snowplow." | He later won the same poster contest in High School for a Cambell's Soup Ad. | Senior Photo
38: In elementary school he painted a mural on a wall for his social studies class that was still there when he last visited Michigan. | He was in the Air National Guard 107 Tac Recon Squad Detroit ANG Base, MI Rank: Sergeant 1964 - 1970 Specialty: Still Photo Laboratory Specialist | He attended The Art Center School in Los Angeles, California, 1961. | He was a professor at The College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan, Graphic Design Department, Television Commercials, 1991-1996. | He played on the University of Michigan rugby team. | He Produced Commercials for Showtime Boxing with some of the Greats, such as Mike Tyson. | He swam laps at the pool just about everyday | He won numerous awards for his ceramic art: First Place Sculpture, The Somerset Collection Show, Troy, Michigan 2002; Michigan Ceramics Artists Show – One of 50 sculptures chosen to represent “The Best of Michigan” 2003; Numerous Best of Show, Art Fair Awards, 1992-2002. | He has a card in the Library of Congress for his Monroe Shocks commercials.
39: While attending University of Michigan he published a book with Mike Green titled "The Tenth One Goes to Michigan".
40: Richard was very nostalgic, keeping pictures drawn by Brian & Christina from the time they first picked up a crayon. | He loved his leather Ghurka bag so much that he sent it back for repairs multiple times over the 20+ years he owned it. Even when Jean surprised him with a new one, he thought it just wasn't the same and returned it. | He was in a sailing club as a kid and had hoped his book would help Christina learn to sail, with a few extra notes he had written.
41: Richard had started various businesses. Some of which included; Running Shot, Salay/Miles, An Allwin Knowlose Company, Urban Folklore, Players - A Production Company, Salay and Associates, and The Ken and Barbie Formula.
42: Richard in His Own Words | "In my wild, wonderful and sometimes whimsical world, I am both a spectator and a creator." | While this was written on the back of his business card to describe his art, it also depicts him perfectly; wonderful, unique, whimsical, one of a kind, having a life energy of his own which gave joy to all those around him.
43: Those who knew him, understood his passion was creating art.
45: Sketching & Drawing | Sketches from High School. Getting Brian started early.
46: You could often find him sketching his ideas for the next project. | This was done in celebration of Jeanne being pregnant
47: Though the cancer treatments made writing and drawing difficult, he continued both until his last days.
50: A Cartoonist | Tile Designer
51: Stained Glass | Graffiti Artist
55: Richard E. Salay Ceramic Sculptor CURRENT BODY OF WORK “Birds of a Feather” 2007 to present A continuing series of whimsical Miaolica ceramic birds perched on steel and ceramic sculptures – 3’ to 12’ high “Heroes” 2006 - 2007 Ten personal impressions created as Miaolica busts – 2’ to 3’ high “Bowls in Motion” 2005 Twelve high fire bowls with a fluidity of motion – 15” to 18” INSTALLATIONS “Dragon Fired Pizza” 2007 A three part Miaolica tile of a knight creating a dragon fired pizza for a pizza outdoor kitchen in Scottsdale, Arizona 12” x 18” “Finding the Star Within You” 2002 Two steel, ceramic mixed media sculptures – 8’ high Installed in the Avondale Elementary School and the Dearborn Middle School, MI “Egg House” 2003 Mixed media sculpture- 8’ high Installed at The Somerset Garden Collection, “Best of Show” Troy, Michigan EXHIBITS “Bottom Feeders” 2003 Twelve surreal fish sculptures shown at the Michigan Artist Guild Show and the Michigan Ceramics “The Best of Michigan” touring show “Birds and their Abodes” 1995 - 2002 A series of ceramic birds and abodes sculptures shown in the following locations. SHOWS Midland Art Museum – Great Lakes Art Exhibition Ann Arbor Street Fair, Ann Arbor, Michigan Art in the Park, Birmingham, Michigan Art & Apples, Rochester, Michigan Art in the Park, Petoskey, Michigan Mt. Gretna Chantauqua Art Show, Pennsylvania Oakbrook Center Invitational Fine Art Exhibition, Illinois GALLERIES Michigan Guild, Ann Arbor, Michigan Ariana Gallery, Royal Oak, Michigan Coyote Woman, Harbor Springs, Michigan Kouchy Gallery, Charlevoix, Michigan One of a Kind Fine Art Gallery, Charleston, South Carolina The Gallery on Green, Key West, Florida Connection Gallery, Sausalito, California
56: He started his Raku in the backyard of a friend's house using trashcans as his kiln. | He introduced the world to his Raku initially by selling his birds & bird abodes at local art fairs.
57: He was extremely excited when he eventually found himself a studio in Pontiac, MI.
67: The busts that Richard created were inspiring. He eventually photographed them for his business cards.
68: He not only sketched each piece prior to creating it, Richard would also make detailed notes about the clay & glazes being used for the sculpture. Once the piece was complete he'd secure a photo next to the sketch & notes.
70: In the year 2002 Richard moved into more complex and often larger sculptures. Starting with"Finding the Star Within You", which was a sculpture dedicated to Jean upon her retirement from teaching, which has remained at Avondale Elementary. The hair is made of Jean's pencil collection. Richard also made Jean an "Emmy Award" for her years of teaching.
71: "It was a very windy day on Saturday, however, Bob Zicafoose and Keith Rupnik placed the plaque at the monument sign, in Memory of Richard Salay. Richard volunteered his time and creative efforts to design the monument signs and gates for our community. What a difference it made from our previous signs and gates. He will be greatly missed by his friends and neighbors."
72: His largest (9 feet x 12 feet) and most impressive sculpture was "The Dilemna"
73: May 5, 2010 | Brian wrote a poetic announcement of his father's death.
74: Richard had made his last wishes clear that he would like a celebration of his life to be held at his home in Scottsdale, AZ. People from all over the country came to celebrate and share stories of Richard. | "Richard brought beauty into everyones life he met! I shall miss seeing him & watching him create his own special beauty." Adreinne Hay - Mesa Art Center friend | "Richard enjoyed many things-we especially remember discussions of lovely old saguaros. He would be standing in the middle of the street looking up-we would come out to work on our "forest" & start talking about the wonder & majesty of the cacti & the desert we live in" Giovonni & Tracey Side note: Richard would often refer to this area outside of their home as the vortex, where every direction you looked was magical! | "He was a great man who could see the beauty in everybody and everything." Jim Lyle
75: I had the honor of working with Dick during the years of Kelly Services, in the Dominican Republic as well as several other jobs. What a sweet and special human being! It has been several days that I have been thinking of my friend Dick as I drive around town. I glance in the mirror and I catch myself smiling with the thought of him. When I think of Dick this is the vision that I see: I see his salt and pepper hair that often got tousled by his long fingers running threw it. I see his broad smile that sometimes got moist on the edges. I can hear his soft, kind, deliberate voice that sometimes would have a slight stutter to it. When he would see you he would say, “How are you?” and really mean it. Dick always had a chuckle along with his intense conversation that was filled with enthusiasm; he always left you feeling good. He loved to hear about you, what was on your mind, and Dick was always up for a game or adventure. At work he was always the peacemaker. Dick talked about his family often and how he loved them so much. I can see his tall frame, his stance with his feet always being positioned slightly apart, his slightly rounded shoulders, his arms often crossed in conversation, he would use his hands to talk with to make a point. I remember the khaki vest he wore with several pockets at work. He always had his scripts rolled in his hand or shoved in the pockets. Along with the vest were the shorts that he wore with his cute legs, leather Dockers and we must not forget the summer hats! I loved seeing Dick outside of work at many of the art fairs selling his quirky birdhouses and wearing the same cute outfit! Dick loved his art and loved talking to people. A year or so ago I ran into Dick, it had been a long time since last seeing him. When I walked away it felt like the other week. I am blessed that I caught that time with him, for I never imagined that it would be our last catch up. Dick taught me so much about life, he taught me most of all to step back a moment, be silly and enjoy life and what it has to offer. He also taught me to eat dessert before my meal as he did all the time. I loved the story that went along with his dessert theory. Dick is now an angel and he will always live on in my heart. I am saddened that he is gone, but I am blessed to have known him and I could call him my friend. I celebrate him these days with having dessert first at my meals! Vicki Howard | I had the honor of working with Dick during the years of Kelly Services, in the Dominican Republic as well as several other jobs. What a sweet and special human being! It has been several days that I have been thinking of my friend Dick as I drive around town. I glance in the mirror and I catch myself smiling with the thought of him. When I think of Dick this is the vision that I see: I see his salt and pepper hair that often got tousled by his long fingers running threw it. I see his broad smile that sometimes got moist on the edges. I can hear his soft, kind, deliberate voice that sometimes would have a slight stutter to it. When he would see you he would say, “How are you?” and really mean it. Dick always had a chuckle along with his intense conversation that was filled with enthusiasm; he always left you feeling good. He loved to hear about you, what was on your mind, and Dick was always up for a game or adventure. At work he was always the peacemaker. Dick talked about his family often and how he loved them so much. I can see his tall frame, his stance with his feet always being positioned slightly apart, his slightly rounded shoulders, his arms often crossed in conversation, he would use his hands to talk with to make a point. I remember the khaki vest he wore with several pockets at work. He always had his scripts rolled in his hand or shoved in the pockets. Along with the vest were the shorts that he wore with his cute legs, leather Dockers and we must not forget the summer hats! I loved seeing Dick outside of work at many of the art fairs selling his quirky birdhouses and wearing the same cute outfit! Dick loved his art and loved talking to people. A year or so ago I ran into Dick, it had been a long time since last seeing him. When I walked away it felt like the other week. I am blessed that I caught that time with him, for I never imagined that it would be our last catch up. Dick taught me so much about life, he taught me most of all to step back a moment, be silly and enjoy life and what it has to offer. He also taught me to eat dessert before my meal as he did all the time. I loved the story that went along with his dessert theory. Dick is now an angel and he will always live on in my heart. I am saddened that he is gone, but I am blessed to have known him and I could call him my friend. I celebrate him these days with having dessert first at my meals! Vicki Howard
76: Richard E. Salay I say the name daily So very tight our family ties Endless fun was no surprise We met at U-Mich Long time ago And then...re-met, again... And what do you know? Our families got started & soon began Many fun times on sea & on land Combining children numbering four Each project with them You did explore To create countless moments of Walloon fun At summers end, we'd just begun An alligator you five did make from a wonderful tree trunk for goodness sake Off to town for painters hats Got paint & brushes and that was that The gator got created & guarded our dock till the next summer when we found with a shock that he must have swum away and we never had a chance to say Bye Bye to him but to our surprise He re-appeared before our eyes We hauled him back & chained that wood Alas, once more he vanished for good Sitting on the back of our motor boat that was your spot when we were afloat We cheered 4 kids as they played in the water and the next fall, another daughter Joci Frank who brought us together in more wonderful ways than we had ever thought possible | She marched out of our car and into your home. With you Dick to work on great projects alone. She loved all that time & looked forward to more. She did not wait long For more was in store (she was even in a commercial you shot) So many years of heartfelt fun Such great times For each & everyone Art & Art and Art we'd talk Whether sitting or on a walk We shared that art love all the time I helped with yours You helped with mine We exchanged gifts at Christmas together Latkes to you no matter the weather Every New Years for 39 years Down to Joe Muers for Holiday cheers and dance at The Chop House for hours on end How great to be with such a great friend When Muers closed down, we did not worry Up to Walloon we went in a flurry Spelling out words in West Branch In deep fallen snow Row Inn for New Year's once more Off to Sedona, A New Year's in store I could go on & on like this Instead I will end here & seal with a kiss You touched us all in a special way And that's the reason you're cheered here today Alice Frank
77: I have been a classmate at the Mesa Art Center with Richard for several years now, and I am so deeply saddened by his passing. To say that he will be missed is truly an understatement! As soon as Richard would walk into the door at the MAC his presence was known. he'd wear that funky little hat of his, carrying his tools, and would always have a big smile on his face, you just knew that he LOVED being there. He ended up working in the children's studio and perhaps that is how he felt...like a child, enjoying the process of creativity free of any restraints. Oh, and how creative he was! I remember sitting near him when he was crating his "Elizabeth" ! All the attention to detail that he put into that piece just amazed me as well as others at the art studio. Details, details, and more details! Richard was always writing notes, sketching, and drawing in those notebooks of his. Richard was one of the most enthusiastic students at the MAC, always willing to try something new, most of the time with success, but a few failures along the way, but always learning from those failures and growing! One of my favorite pieces that he made was a chicken, and then of course there are those birds! Each and every one of those birds are so unique, each having a personality of their own! Seeing them would always bring a smile to my face! I walked into the children's studio yesterday and looked at the table Richard always worked at, stained with the red clay he always used and I smiled! Please know that there are so many of us at the MAC who will mis Richard and think of him fondly! He was a class act! Sincerely, Sandy Majwiski
78: Richard this is just a small story of your very BIG LIFE. One day Dick, who was into photography at the time, wanted to take some pictures of me. I think I was in high school, so he came over to my house with camera, lenses, lighting lamps, & film. We went into the living room and he moves all the furniture puts me in various poses and snaps away picture after picture, but he must not have liked what he saw because he decided to go the kitchen and get our parakeet “Tippy”. He let him out of the his cage (my parents weren’t home) and put him on my arm, head, hand. Poor bird didn’t know what was happening...he begins flying around the living room lands on the top of the drapes and won’t come down. Scared he “poops”all over the drapes... I totally laugh right now because this is so a “totally Dick Salay” experience... As for the end of this “Richard Memory”I never ever saw any of the photos and the next morning when I went to feed Tippy, he was lying on the floor of the cage feet in the air – dead. I wonder what Dick and Tippy are talking about in Heaven right now! Janice Benkert | "Your father, my husband, was such a unique man. I miss his touch, his humor, his company, his love, his just being there for me. We truly were soul mates. Our retirement years were beyond happy. A new word has to be in the dictionary to describe our happiness." Jean Salay
79: Dick and I met almost 50 years ago in Ann Arbor. This was before Jean. He and my roommate, Mike Green, created the book called "The 10th One Goes to Michigan". We did not see each other for a few years and when I got out of the service we renewed our friendship right after he and Jean were married. Well, for the next 35 years New Years Eve became an event for the 4 of us. Joe Muers for dinner beginning at 6pm and then after about 4 hours of eating & drinking Dick would suggest, "lets go to the London Chop House for some Tom & Jerrys". I had no idea what a Tom & Jerry was but I learned real fast. We would stay there & dance until after midnight. If it were up to Dick we would be there until closing. He never turned down an opportunity to have fun with friends. If it was not Joe Muer's it would be Up North at the Rowe Inn for New Years Eve. Summers our families would spend a week or longer Up North in Petoskey. Laying in the sun water skiing and eating. The four biggies, Brian, Christina, Michelle & Darin would take care of Jocelyn who was 10+ years younger than the 4 of them. We were and still are one big family, only now with a big hole in it. I can recall going to the Emmy awards show when Dick won an Emmy for his commercial film for Monroe Shocks. When he and Alice would get to talking on one of our many evenings out, Jean and I would just shake our heads and laugh. Artists do not talk, think or act like the rest of us. Every Christmas, we would show up to help decorate the Christmas tree, put family presents under the tree and then eat the Chanukua potato latkes that Alice had made at home and brought to share. In the Spring there was nothing better than sitting on the Salay patio drinking Dick's famous Moscow Mules or his Gin & Tonics. Dick had limitless capacity for enjoying the moment and bringing anyone who was with him into that moment. Our families are better for having him for all these years. Sid Frank.
80: While in the hospital my Dad told me that one of the most difficult parts of being a parent is to not push too much of who you are on to your children and to allow them to become their own person. In hindsight, he did this so well I hadn’t even noticed until he told me. By just being himself, he was a fantastic father, inspiring and instilling in me a beautiful outlook on life. My Dad was always there to pick me up when I’d fallen, both literally and figuratively. I remember when I was learning to ski in Northern Michigan and felt confident enough in my skills to try a more advanced hill. He looked at me with some concern, but agreed. I pointed my skis downhill and quickly realized that the steepness wasn’t the problem as much as the sheet of ice I found myself on. I looked frantically to find a place to stop and feared how this would end. I scanned the mountain in hopes of waving my dad over. But, of course, he was already on his way down to save me. Once we safely arrived at the bottom he was quick to say that maybe tomorrow the hill wouldn’t be so icy and we could try again. It was in this moment he began to teach me that fear should never stop me from pursuing my goals. My dad lived passionately, finding joy and appreciation in the daily endeavors of life, both big and small and inspired me to try to do the same. Whether it be creating art, teaching me to throw a ball like a boy, as I had requested, or grilling dinner even when the night was cold and snowy, he was found smiling and laughing. We both loved the water and would frequently joke that I was part fish. When I was young he was often found in the pool throwing me like a cannonball or lifting me up to get splashed by the waves in the ocean, while I squealed with pure joy. When you look through the photos of my father you’ll notice there are many of him dancing. As a child there was a song that I particularly remember called Popcorn, that would have been annoying to most parents, with its fast beat and its ability to get me really hyper. He loved to not only play it, but to also dance around with me like we were corn kernels popping. Of course my favorite was our father daughter dance at my wedding. He even sent me a card once and wrote “feel your heartbeat and dance, that’s an order!” As I hold my Dad’s last book of ideas & sketches it reminds me that my dad is one of the rare people that had creativity flowing through him constantly. He typically thought outside of the box, as an artist, a husband, a father and a friend. He would tell me “continue to imagine, you’re so good at it.” I realize that my imagination thrived because he nurtured it by never making me feel ridiculous for any idea I conjured up. He thought big and taught me to do the same, especially with art, which is obvious with his metal sculpture, Dilemma, and the amazing large ceramic sculptures he created. As a kid I always thought it was normal to have large sculptures in your yard and an art studio in the basement. His encouragement for me to find my creativity was inspiring. I remember him telling me to just build my art as I envisioned it, which for my 8th grade project, turned out to be a 6 foot tall sculpture. Although it ended up requiring us to locate a van to transport it to school, he beamed with pride. Even when I came up with the crazy idea
81: to build a bed frame made of milk crates, he never thought it ridiculous. Instead, we quickly came up with a plan and went driving through the alleys to find crates. By the end of the weekend we had created a bed frame like no other. His creativity was also found during unexpected situations as a dad, such as covering for me and a friend after finding ourselves with some possible trouble with a neighbor. I remember him being initially irritated and telling us to never do it again, but was soon laughing at the situation after saying, “Don’t tell your mother, she’ll be furious!” A close friend of my dad’s shared a story that I love. While my dad was finishing up his first ceramic birdhouse he dropped it and it split in half. He turned to his friend and said it was ok, it could just be mounted on the wall or a tree. He was always a master at finding the positive and the humor in life. In honor of my dad I’d like to share an Apple Ad entitled The Crazy Ones: Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels The troublemakers The round pegs in the square holes They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect of the status quo You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify them Or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal They explore They create. They inspire Maybe they have to be crazy How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? While some see them as crazy, we see them as genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do. My dad, Richard E. Salay, definitely left the world a more beautiful, interesting and whimsical place than he found it. For that I am thankful. Christina Schmidt (Salay)
82: "I was fortunate enough to share studio time with Richard at the MAC & want you to know that he is going to be greatly missed. He was a lovely man with passion for life and art. It was wonderful to watch him as he designed his pieces & thought through every step till the finished piece was revealed. His pieces reflected him; a delightful, colorful creature with heart." Linda Taylor | "Not only was he creative, he was a good guy, full of life, very interesting, and spiritually adventurous. I will treasure our many hours together glazing & firing the bird buddies & abodes. I know that he is still with us in some form & always in our hearts." Rand | "One of the many things I really miss is his passion and enthusiasm for life and art and fun. Listening to him exult in whatever topic he was enjoying at the time was energizing and inspiring. When I hear about people whose lives changed the world for the better, I think of him. He created joy....he emits love through every medium." Jeanne Delano | "Truly a loss to the world. Oh how long I’ve known Dick and what a funny, creative, interesting, loving, kind, caring man. Yes that wonderful smile. His wonderful phraseology, that look he had on his face. Yes those enormous electric contagious smiles. Always interested in what you had to say, always interesting in what he had to say. I know he would not want my tears, but only our laughter and love of life. I can see him so clearly. I will always cherish my memories of you Dick Salay. That wonderful way you always “filled” up the space around you I could always spot you in a crowd. You truly made a difference while you were here on earth. " Janice Benkert
83: Richard had a unique gift, one that set him apart from his peers. There was a direct connection between his eyes and his hands. He would see something, sometimes in his mind, and his hands would do it. It was the most amazing thing. He might sketch it out first, not in any great detail, usually small, scribble a few notes about it and then move on and actually do it. For the rest of us, there would always be countless sketches, much pre-planning and then execution. Not with Mr. Sales. If you ever watched him do his sculpture or create his birds or birdhouses, you’d see there was no real planning to it. I’ll bet he did exactly what he wanted creating those pieces the first time he did one. Then he probably said, “the beak could be bigger” or “his eye should pop out more” or something minor along those lines. There was usual trial with him, but very little error. He demonstrated this “gift” to me on more than one occasion, making a birdhouse one day in Michigan and a bird once in Arizona. He did those pieces with clay, which is basically an inert material. It does nothing to assist in the creative process. You have to supply all the energy to create something yourself. For him though, it was simple. What he did was take this mound of clay, pull off a strip here and a strip there, move it around with those hands of his, pushing this and pulling that, and “Viola!” he had a bird or a house. I asked him how he knew how much clay he needed for this or that. He told me he didn’t know. He could just feel it. When he did the dilemma sculpture that stands in the courtyard in Scottsdale, he first did a small sketch, then he went out and got himself these large sheets of metal on which he drew the pieces with a magic marker, intertwining the separate shapes to best utilize the material. The resulting sheet had no resemblance to the finished artwork, just a bunch of shapes drawn on a piece of metal. Then he cut out the individual pieces and assembled the sculpture. Damned if the finished product didn’t match the initial little sketch almost exactly. It was always like that with him. His “gift” had at once both a daunting yet an inspiring effect. He would make something hard for the rest of us look easy for him. And, in so doing, he demonstrated that, yes, it could be done. Tom Tieche