Regina Clay: Worlds in the Making
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CICANSKY: BIOGRAPHY & LIFE STORY

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Victor Cicansky was born in Regina on February 12, 1935. After leaving secondary school in the ninth grade, he worked as a labourer for seven years before enrolling as a mature student at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus, where he completed his first year of university. In 1958 he entered the campus's teacher's college, and from 1960 to 1966 he taught in the Regina Elementary school system. In as early as 1964 he began enrolling in ceramics classes taught by Beth Hone and he began studying with Jack Sures upon Sures' arrival in Regina in 1965. During this time, he also completed summer education courses at the university and then spent a year studying full time in order to receive his Bachelor of Education in 1964.

For the next several years Cicansky taught pottery and sculpture in Regina high schools while simultaneously attending university classes, completing his Bachelor of Arts in English and Fine Arts in 1967. That summer, while studying at the Haystack Mountain School of Art at Deere Isle, Maine, Cicansky met Robert Arneson who inspired him to relocate to California to study art at the University of California at Davis, where he received his Master of Fine Arts in 1970. It was at Davis where Cicansky first met David Gilhooly, who was a former graduate of Davis' master's program. After completing his M.F.A., Cicansky returned to Regina where he was appointed Assistant Professor of Education (Elementary) in the university's Faculty of Education. He was promoted to Associate Professor of Education in 1975, a position which he held until 1984, when he accepted an appointment within the Visual Arts Department, where he remained until 1993. During this time, he also acted as a guest lecturer at several universities throughout Canada and the United States, including the Banff School of Fine Arts in 1972, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1973, and the University of California at Davis in 1988.

In 1978 Cicansky completed a commission for the Government of Saskatchewan to create five ceramic murals entitled The Old Working Class for the Sturdy-Stone Centre in Saskatoon. Other ceramic mural commissions include Regina: My World for The Co-operators Group in Regina in 1980, and The New Working Class, a second commission for Saskatoon's Sturdy-Stone Centre in 1983. In 1983, the Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery organized a retrospective of Cicansky's work entitled Victor Cicansky: Clay Sculpture for national tour. His life and work was the subject of a 2004 publication by Don Kerr entitled The Garden of Art: Vic Cicansky, Sculptor. Cicansky is the recipient of many grants and awards, including the Victoria and Albert Award for Ceramic Sculpture in 1967, the California Kingsley Annual Award for Sculpture in 1969, and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1996. Cicansky's work can be found in several public collections, including the Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa; MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina; Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon; the Montreal Museum of Fine Art; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Saskatchewan Arts Board, Regina; and the Museum of Fine Art, Tokyo. Victor Cicansky currently works and resides in Regina.



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