Joan Southard Silver

Joan Southard Silver was one cool lady who pursued her passion for art, both creating it and teaching it, her entire life and shared her delight in the world around her with everyone she met. Joan died Tuesday, Feb. 18, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital after a brief illness. She was 87 and painting just days before she suffered a stroke.

An artist who created many distinguished pieces in oil, ceramics, sumi ink, photography and mixed media, Joan showed her work all over the world and had been active in the Lawrence Art Guild. She had a number of one-woman shows at various venues. Among the other places where she exhibited her work were:

  • The 20th Anniversary Celebration of the 1977 Spirit of Houston Conference in 1997 in Washington DC.
  • The National Woman’s Satellite Conference in 1996
  • “Global Focus: Women in Arts and Culture,” at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995. That work is now in the collection of the Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC
  • Hancock, Mich., Arts Center Gallery
  • Lawrence Art Guild Summer Show, 1994, at the KU Memorial Union in Lawrence, Kan.,
  • “Womanart,” Taos, NM, Fine Arts Center
  • Paint 85, a traveling exhibit of Central Michigan University
  • 14th Annual Exhibit, Arts Council, Traverse City, Mich.
  • The Michigan Art Train, 1972
  • Plymouth House Gallery, Plymouth, Mich., 1972
  • 5th Annual Birmingham Arts Festival, Birmingham, Mich., 1972

Joan also worked closely with the late Lorraine Chambers McCarty, a nationally known muralist, consulted with importer Yang-Tri International, served as an independent Ceramic Tile Consultant and Designer in Kansas and Michigan, worked with Midland Brick and Tile in Overland Park, Kan., and started a custom tile studio for ceramic tile importer, TJ Ceramic Tile Sales in Southfield, Mich. Joan lectured in many places including Kansas City Community College, Johnson County Community College, Northwestern Michigan University and the Northwood Institute in Michigan. She was listed in the Who’s Who American Women 21st Edition and Millennium Edition.

Joan attended the Center for Creative Studies (formerly the Society of Arts and Crafts) in Detroit, Mich., 1945-46, and studied with Sarkis Sarkisian, Guy Palazzolo, Gwen Luxe and Jay Borsma. She often liked to tell the story of how her favorite teacher, Sarkis, once praised a painting. Joan replied enthusiastically that she had been inspired. Sarkis said, “When you can do that when you’re not inspired, then you’ll be an artist.”

Joan graduated from Dearborn High School in Dearborn, Mich., and appeared in many plays. One of her fellow students was the late actor George Peppard, who also appeared on stage with her.

She was formerly married to the late artist Robert Silver. The late Nub Snow was her beloved companion.

Joan was born in Port Huron, Mich., and lived her adult life in Plymouth and Traverse City, Mich., and De Soto and Lawrence, Kan. She is survived by her son, Mark Silver of Chassell, Mich. (wife Mary Hindelang), daughter Diane Silver, of Lawrence, Kan., grandson Tony Doria, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and her beloved spaniel, Nina.


  1. Raymond Weglarz on March 6, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    My condolences to her family and reading her obituary makes me wish I had known her. Peace, Ray

  2. Mimi Fell on February 27, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Our thoughts are with you.The Fell Family

  3. Mike Lindeman on February 23, 2014 at 9:50 am

    My heart goes out to the family of Joan. Joan was a spectacular lovely woman. I lived down the street and would meet her numerous times on her stroll with Nina. I will miss her kindness and interesting thoughts and experiences. God Bless you Joan may your spirit be soaring above.

Leave a Comment

Obituaries & Condolences

Richard Ray Lennington


David Russel Friederichs

Lyman T. Hatcher

Katherine L. Anderson

Roger Alan Wilmot

David Pounds

Sean Mulvaney

Mary Margaret “M2” House

James (Jimmy) Hill

Marilyn E. (Bullock) Cannaday

Jeffery Wallace Burvee