Roy Superior
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WILLIAMSBURG - Roy Superior, 78, of Williamsburg, died peacefully after a brief illness Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013.

A true Renaissance man, Roy was not only a highly original and brilliantly talented visual artist but also a traditional jazz clarinet player, writer, a lifelong fly fisherman and a hedonist, whose love of life, and food, made him feel most at home in Italy, where he spent long periods of time.

Roy was a professor of art, having earned degrees in fine arts from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, N.Y., and a master's of fine art from Yale University, New Haven, Conn. He studied in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico.

He taught wood sculpture and furniture design at the University of the Arts of the Philadelphia College of Art and Design, where he served as chairman of the crafts department and was head of the wood program for 16 years. He taught printmaking, drawing and painting at the Hartford Art School of the University of Hartford and at Hampshire College.

He retired in 2006 and continued producing art work. In 2012 he taught drawing and watercolor at the Academy at Charlemont.

His art work is in many public and private collections including the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C., the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, Conn., and Agnes Gund, a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums nationally.

Roy received numerous awards and grants. In 2012 he won a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Roy's work has been featured in many periodicals and books as well as reviews in newspapers such as the New York Times and the Boston Globe. He was honored to be included in the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art, where his sketchbooks and papers will be archived.

Born in New York, N.Y., he grew up in Great Neck, Long Island, N.Y.

He leaves behind his beloved wife the visual artist, Mara Superior; daughters Lynne Superior Ruscigno and Suzanne Eve Ferrigno; two granddaughters, Rachael and Jessica Ferrigno; and his dear cousin, the print maker, Helen Yaker of Lexington.

He will be remembered as a mentor by scores of students for his words of support, inspiration, wisdom and his joyful humor and laughter.

If friends desire, a gift certificate at Hadley Garden Center will help plant a garden for Roy next spring, or contributions in his name can be made to the Craft Emergency Relief Fund.

To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Sep. 11, 2013.
Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
December 30, 2016
Valenda Newell
August 11, 2014
I am so sorry to lean of Roy's death. We all had so many good times together.
Mary Dillon Hock
February 4, 2014
As I embark on a new job as a tree house carpenter, I remember the large impact Roy had on me and in such a short period of time.
Peter Kelsey
February 3, 2014
It breaks my heart to recently learn that Roy has passed, but I feel so grateful just to have met him and have his work and attitude as an important point of reference in my life as a maker. His love of life, great wit, and sense of humor were made more powerful by his exquisite craftsmanship, and I will never forget seeing his “Peace Missle”, “Shaker Dragster”, and other fabulous constructions- they spoke of the power of artistic focus, while embracing the absurdity of humanity and lifted my spirit with the sweet humor and disciplined intention. Although I never got to know him well, and I'm certain he wouldn't even recognize my name, he is one of my heros. The few short conversations I had with him always left me feeling amazed, and he will always sit on the “board of creative mentors” within my imagination. Godspeed Roy, and Ciao for now.
- Michael Mocho
Michael Mocho
February 1, 2014
RIP xoxoxo
October 9, 2013
At Hampshire College in 1979, Roy taught a fantastic wood sculpture class. It was a very early morning class of about twelve students. I was there for a few classes but I just had trouble getting up at 6:30am to get to Roy's class across campus at 7:00am. One morning just after 7:00am somebody knocked loudly at my door and I angrily opened the door to "tell off" who ever was knocking at that hour. It was Roy! He said "I noticed you missed a couple of classes, are you alright"? I said I was fine and he said "Good! Iv'e brought the whole class here to you're living room is on!....hurry up and join us"! Wow! I never missed another of Roy's classes again! In my life, I will never forget his teachings. With my Pipe and Thermos of coffee....I salute you Roy!
Always You're Student, Burton Tinsley (Portland, Oregon)
September 16, 2013
one of the last of the great curmudgeons...a facet not mentioned in the bio of this gem, now sadly lost ....his varied body of excellent work now serves as the only immortality we know.
henry c.
henry cavanagh cavanagh
September 12, 2013
Roy wasn't just family he was my teacher and mentor. During college he was always there for encouragement and inspiration. His humor and light heartedness made him a joy to be around and his wealth of knowledge made sure you always learned something new when you spoke with him. I've always felt lucky to have him not only as a professor but as family. The fond memories, the wisdom, and the beautiful art that he blessed us all with, will keep him always in our hearts.
September 11, 2013
Roy off to school,teaching in Hawaii
Hi Mara. What a beautiful tribute to your wonderful husband. When Roy got sick, this was my screensaver:
September 11, 2013
Roy was my professor and advisor at Hampshire College in 1978. He was a great teacher, full of humor and passion and quirkiness! I send condolences and prayers to his family in this loss. Roy was a one of a kind guy and a unique and very talented artist.
Julie Waggoner
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