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Mara Superior

Location: Williamsburg, MA
BORN: Brooklyn, NY

EDUCATION
1980 University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MAT
1975 University of Connecticut, Storrs, BFA, Painting 1970–72 University of Hartford, Hartford Art School, Hartford, CT
1965–69 High School of Art and Design, NY

AWARDS
2013, 05, 1992, 91, 88, 86 Artist Fellowship Grant, Massachusetts Cultural Council
2006 Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Residency, Newcastle, ME
1990 Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts
1988–90 The Guild, American Crafts Design Award
1985 Judges Award and Craftsmans’ Choice Award, The Smithsonian Washington craft show, Washington, DC
1981 Prize for Craftsmanship and Design, The Philadelphia Craft Show, Philadelphia, PA
1979, 80 Graduate Teaching Assistantship in Design, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
1977 Best in Show Crafts Division, Paul Smith judge, Hartford Civic and Arts Festival, Hartford, CT

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art, Washington, DC
Museum of Arts and Design, NY
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT
Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Newark Museum of Art, Newark, NJ
Smithsonian Museum, Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC
The Whitehouse Collection of American Crafts, Washington, D.C.
American Craft Museum, New York, NY
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2015 A Porcelain Menagerie, Clark Gallery, Lincoln, MA
2008 La Mer, Dane Gallery, Nantucket, MA
2007 Italia Nostra, Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, MA
2006 Mara Superior: A Retrospective, New Britain Museum of American Art, CT
2005 Mara Superior, J.M. Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI
2003 Souvenirs D’Italia, Fuller Musuem of American Craft, Brockton, MA
2002 Souvenirs D’Italia, Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, MA
1991 New England Artists Series, deCordova Museum,  Lincoln, MA

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2017 73rd Scripps Ceramic Annual, Scripps College, Claremont, CA
2016 Alice in Wonderland, Guldaggergård, Skælskør, Denmark
(413): Pioneering Western Massachusetts, Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA
The Faces of Politics: In/Tolerance, Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA
RE—Reanimate, Repair, Mend, and Meld, Ferrin Contemporary, North Adams, MA
2015 Selected Works from Current Projects, Ferrin Contemporary at Independent Art Projects, North Adams, MA
2014 artKamp: indigo mass, Ferrin Contemporary at Independent Art Projects, North Adams, MA
Consider the Kylix, Peters Valley Gallery, NJ
Tea Collectia, Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY
The Bacchanalistas: Passions and Pleasure, New York Ceramics Fair, NY
2012 COVET, Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA
Figure/Figurine, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
The Letterpress Portfolio Project, Big Wheel Press, Northampton, MA
2011 The Pursuit of Porcelain, Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA WOMENARTISTS@NEWBRITAINMUSEUM, New Britain Museum, CT
Fresh Figurines, curated by Gail Brown, Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA
2010 The Nude, SOFA Chicago, Ferrin Gallery, Chicago, IL
Couples, Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA
ReObjectification, Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA
2009 Illusculptors, Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA
2004 Salutations: New Space, New Art, Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, MA
This Splendid Table: Fantastic Dishes for Food, Kentucky Museum of Arts & Design, Louisville, KY
2003 After Pallissy, Lacoste Gallery, Concord, MA
Great Pots! Contemporary Ceramics from Function to Fantasy, Newark Museum of Art, Newark, NJ
Subject-Me-Object: Autobiographical Ceramic Art, Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, MA
Short Stories, Ferrin Gallery, Lenox MA
2001 31st Annual Ceramics Exhibit, Crossman Gallery; University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, WI
Teapots Transformed, Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY
2000 Color and Fire: Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics,
1950– 2000, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
1999 Erotica in Ceramic Art, Ferrin Gallery, Northampton, MA20th Anniversary Teapot Exhibition, Ferrin Gallery, Northampton, MA
1998 Contemporary Teapots Exhibition, Ferrin Gallery, Northampton, MA
1995–1998 The Whitehouse Collection of American Crafts, traveling museum exhibition
1995 Let’s Play House, Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, WI
The Nude in Clay, Perimeter Gallery, Chicago, IL
1993–1994 Ceramic National Exhibition, Everson Museum of Arts, Syracuse, NY Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
1993 The Tureen Show, Helen Drutt Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Teapot Invitational, Dorothy Weiss Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Ceramic National Exhibition, through 1994, Everson Museum of Arts, Syracuse, NY Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
1992 Containers Revisited, NCECA, Tyler School of Art, Elkings Park, PA
1980 -1993 A Tea Party, Ferrin Gallery, Northampton, MA
1991 The Narrative Vessel, John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI
1990–1993 Art That Works; The Decorative Arts of the Eighties Crafted in America, Lloyd Herman, curator, traveling museum exhibit

RESIDENCIES
2014 artKamp, international artists collaborative with Vipoo Srivilasa, Project Art, Cummington, MA
2006 Intalio Printmaking with Helen Yaker, Lucca, Italy
2004 Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, invited Ferrin Gallery artists, Wiscasset, ME

PUBLICATIONS
2011 WOMENARTISTS@NEWBRITAINMUSEUM by Sherry Buckberrough and Nancy Noble, University Press of New England, Hanover and London
2011 The Birding Life, by Laurence, Carol Sheehan & Kathryn Precourt, Clarkson Potter Publishers, NY
2010 “The Political Imagination of Mara Superior: an Interview with the Artist,” by Joanna Hubbs Ceramic Art & Perception Magazine, June
2010: “Politics and Intuition,” by Sarah Buttenweiser, Hand/Eye Magazine.com
“Superior Décor,” by Sarah Buttonweiser, Preview Magazine, December
2009 American Craft, April-May, image of “Bushwacked”
2008 Wedded Bliss, the Marriage of Art and Ceremony, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
2006 “Art Into The Fire,” by Deborah Hornblow, Hartford Courant Mara Superior: A Retrospective, exhibition catalogue, New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT
2005 House and Garden, by Molly Martin, Nantucket, The Dane Gallery,
2004 500 Figures in Clay, Lark Books
2002 500 Teapots, Lark Books
2003 “Souvenirs D’Italia,” Jo Lauria, American Craft Magazine, August – September
Great Pots, Contemporary Ceramics from Function to Fantasy, by Ulysses Grant Dietz, The Newark Museum, Guild Publishing
21st Century Ceramics, United States and Canada, by Bill Hunt, The American Ceramics Society
2001 American Craft, Commissions, Literati Clock, February/March
2000 The Craft and Art of Clay, by Susan Peterson, Overlook Press/Viking, 3rd ed.
Color an Fire: Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics, 1950 – 2000; Jo Lauria, Rizzoli International Publications, NY, NY
Teapots Transformed: Exploration of an Object; Leslie Ferrin; 2000; GUILD Publishing; Madison, WI
“Telling Stories in Porcelain,” by Claire Whitcomb, Victoria Magazine, April 2000, vol. 14 # 4
1995 The Clinton Collection, Heidi C. Berry; Washington Home, April 27, 1995
Contemporary Crafts Find a Home in the White House, Phil Patton, p. 52, Smithsonian, June
1995 The White House Collection of American Crafts, by Michael Monroe, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, NY
1994 Hand and Home, The Homes of American Craftsmen, by Tommy Simpson, Bulfinch Press/Little Brown & Co., Boston, MA
“Porcelain with a Past,” Bostonia, Spring, p.85
“Crafts at the White House,” American Craft, June/July 1993
“Currents,” The New York Times, 3 September
“Fiction, Function, Figuration: The 29th Ceramic National,”
Ceramics Monthly vol.4 #9, November
“Exhibitions,” Mara Superior ; Angela Fina; American Ceramics
1991 “Pride of the Yankees,” by Randi Danforth, Bon Appetit Magazine, November
1990 “Review,” by Angela Fina, American Ceramics, April
“Philadelphia Craft Show Portfolio,” Ceramics Monthly, May
“Table Top Artistry,” by Linda Cheverton-Wick, Food And Wine, March
“News and Reviews, review of The Hearth at Ferrin Gallery,” Ceramics Monthly, March
Art That Works, Decorative Arts of the Eighties, Crafted in America, by Lloyd E. Herman, University of Washington Press
Contemporary Crafts for the Home, Kraus Sikes Inc.
1989 The Eccentric Teapot, by Garth Clark, Abbeville Press, NY
“Philadelphia Craft Show,” HG Magazine, November
“Style File, State of the Arts,” Home, May
“Art for the Table,” Metropolis, April
1988 “Style Preview, Toni Sykes Award,” Metropolitan Home, November
“A Tea Party,” Home Section, The New York Times, October
“Creative Ideas for Living,” A Life in Crafts
“The Simpson House,” House Beautiful, March
“News and Reviews,” by Alla Porcella, Ceramics Monthly, May
“Review,” by Angela Fina, American Ceramics
1986 Soups and Stews, Time/Life Cook Book Series Portfolio Section, American Crafts Magazine, June
“Hand Painted Tiles,” cover article, Home, April
1985 Ceramics Monthly, September Town and Country, Arts and Antiques Section, June
“Hand Painted Tiles,” Bride Magazine, June
1984 American Crafts: A Source Book for the Home, by Katherine Pearson, Stewart, Tabori & Chang Gallery Section, American Crafts, February/March
Ceramics Monthly, February

“My passion for Art History and the History of the Decorative Arts has informed my work throughout my career. I seek to create beauty through the reinterpretation of historical inspirations synthesized with my own visual vocabulary and contemporary views. The resulting objects are rooted in the historical continuum.” — Mara Superior Mara Superior’s pieces are vessels of memory, powerful forms filled with remembrance of things past. They are commemorative icons expressing a hieratic spiritual quality that calls for ceremonial placement In the environment. The content of the drawings is contemplative and complex, the use of words gives clues to the paradox being explored.”“Superior’s work is firmly grounded in the ceramic tradition; the ancient Greeks, too, decorated their ceremonial pots with narrative drawings. The fascinating physical beauty of glazed porcelain, with its copper-red blushes and floating cobalt blues, is of central value. They could not exist with the same impact in any other material. They are about ceramic art. The quality and content of the painting conjures memories of illuminated manuscripts and small botanical studies. There is a very personal and idiosyncratic quality in Superior’s work that co-exists with great strength and dignity. A unique freshness emerges from the artist’s almost cloistered, confident, personal vision.” — Angela Fina, American Ceramics Magazine Review

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Mara Superior awarded 2017 Artist Fellowship in Crafts

The Massachusetts Cultural Council recognizes exceptional work by Massachusetts artists across a range of disciplines. These highly competitive awards provide artists crucial validation among their peers and the public. They catalyze artistic advancement and pave the way for creative innovation of enduring cultural value. MCC is committed to funding individual artists. They believe that the core of a vibrant, healthy society resides in the often unheralded work artists perform day after day. Click for more.

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ORDERCATALOGbutton Mara Superior: A Retrospective,  published in 2006 by New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, Connecticut, is now available. This full-color catalog contains written essays and photos of the artist’s work.

Click here413catalogcover to view online catalog from the exhibition 413: Pioneering Western Massachusetts. The catalog was produced by the Fuller Craft Museum who hosted the show in 2016.

Mara Superior was featured in GALERIE Magazine
“Patriotic Passions”
  by author Suzy Slesin features Superior’s important commission “The Pursuit of Happiness,”  based on the principles of democracy for a prominent New York private collection.