Deaths Death Notices
SQUERI - Robert Of San Francisco, passed away at age 94 on January 17, 2018, spending his last few days surrounded by family and friends. Robert was known around the world as an artist and educator. He will be remembered by those close to him for his joy, enthusiasm, spontaneity, generosity, concern for others, mentorship, and adventurous spirit. His spirit will live on in his family, his artwork, his students, his philanthropy, and the many friends and strangers whose lives he touched, often profoundly. Born in New York City and raised in Brooklyn, Robert worked as an apprentice in his father's ecclesiastical art studio. He studied art and design at Brooklyn College under alumni of the Bauhaus, the most influential modernist art school of the 20th century and the source of the esthetic values that guided Robert's artistic career. Robert earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. in Education at Columbia University while teaching high school art full time. He served for a year as President of the New York State Art Teachers Association. He was Assistant Editor of School Arts Magazine for three years and contributed articles on a variety of topics. Robert also studied at the New School for Social Research; the University of Guanajuato in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome; and the Pratt Center for Contemporary Printmaking. Robert spent a year teaching in India under a Fulbright grant, then used a Ford Foundation grant to study how community art centers across the U.S. contribute to their communities. He was named Associate Professor of Fine Arts at the State University College at Buffalo (now SUNY Buffalo), and within three years became a full Professor of Fine Arts, a position he held for 20 years. Robert founded and directed two art galleries in Buffalo, one a cooperative and the other a private gallery. Although he began as a painter, using watercolors and oils, Robert took up printmaking in Buffalo and found it to be the perfect medium for his experiments in form, color, and materials. Robert's innovative prints have been exhibited across the U.S. and internationally in both one-man and group exhibitions. His honors included numerous competition awards, a one-man exhibition and lecture tour of South America sponsored by the U.S. State Department, a year as Visiting Artist at the University of Hawaii, and a second Fulbright grant to teach in Korea. Robert visited Japan several times to exhibit his prints and to work on new projects. His prints are in the permanent collections of the Honolulu Academy of Art (87 prints), the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, and many other public and private collections worldwide. When Robert retired from teaching and moved to San Francisco, he enjoyed having time to travel and to support the performing arts, and he also found new ways to contribute to the community. He worked for many years as a volunteer staff member at the Planetree Health Resource Center, a free medical library for the public at California Pacific Medical Center. After fielding many inquiries about prostate cancer, Robert started and facilitated the first prostate cancer support group in San Francisco, helping men understand the disease and their treatment options. To encourage young people to pursue careers in art and art education, in 1994 Robert established an annual scholarship award program for outstanding graduating seniors in the visual arts program at San Francisco's Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (SOTA). He has made provisions for the awards to continue in the future. Robert was preceded in death by his son, Marc, and his wife, Louise (Noviello). He is survived by his partner, John Hules; his daughter, Dianne Squeri Smith; his grandchildren, Russell and Melissa Marra; and two great-grandchildren. Robert's ashes will be interred in the Sothis section of the San Francisco Columbarium. A celebration of Robert's life will be held on Sunday, April 22. For details, contact John Hules at 415-750-1169. In lieu of flowers, tax-deductible donations may be made to Friends of SOTA, Visual Arts Dept., 236 West Portal Avenue #844, San Francisco, CA 94127.