Obituary: Michelle Saffran, 1957-2023 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Michelle Saffran, 1957-2023

Vermont artist remembered for her quirky sense of humor and respect and caring for others

Published January 12, 2023 at 6:05 a.m.
Updated January 12, 2023 at 5:42 p.m.


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Michelle Saffran - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Michelle Saffran
Michelle C. Saffran passed away January 1, 2023, at age 65. Michelle was very much loved and will be missed by her many friends and family for her loving heart, gentleness, love of fun and adventure, quirky sense of humor and respect and caring for others.

Michelle was born in Detroit, Mich., and raised in Southfield, Mich. She was a graduate of Oakland University where she majored in psychology. After moving to Vermont, she was the coordinator of the Franklin County Citizen Advocacy Program. Michelle also worked as a victim advocate for the Vermont Attorney General's Office. Michelle received a bachelor of fine arts degree from the Minnesota College of Art and Design and pursued her lifelong love of visual arts, making unique, stunning, spiritual and meaningful photographic images.

While in Minnesota, Michelle met her husband, Jay, and they both eventually moved back to Vermont, living first in Underhill and later moving to Moretown, before settling in Newbury. Michelle returned to school and achieved a masters of visual arts degree from Lesley University in Boston in 2013. Her art practice included the creation of photography-based collage, found object, sculptural, treated print, art books and more. She also taught art and photography at the Community College of Vermont. She was a recipient of the Artist Creation Grant and Artist Development Grants from the Vermont Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts and a Vermont Community Foundation Grant. Her work is included in private and public collections across the United States, Mexico and Australia.

Survivors include her husband, Jay; brother, Peter Colling; nephew, Jacob Bourgeois; aunt, Barbara Wolfe; aunt and uncle, Joyce and Tommy Snyder; and her dogs, Betsy and Jasper. She was predeceased by her sister, Julie; grandmother, Gertrude Snyder; mother, Marianne, and father, Edward. A celebration of Michelle's life will be held at an upcoming date to be announced. Please call Jay at 802-999-6473 for information.

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