Onofrio Charles Giordano, Emeritus Professor of Art and Synaesthetic Education at Syracuse University, died at the age of 89 on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at Crouse Hospital.
Onofrio was born on July 6, 1931 among a diverse immigrant community in the West End of Boston. His journey as an artist and teacher began while serving in the US Army during the Korean Conflict, where he specialized in Troop Information and Education, delivering lessons to his fellow soldiers. At the same time, he was directed to produce artwork for exhibition around the base, such as sculpting his battalion's coat of arms.
Upon leaving the military, Onofrio became the first in his family to attain higher education, attending Massachusetts College of Art, where he received his BS in Education, followed by Syracuse University, where he received his Master of Fine Art degree. He subsequently began work as a professor at SU's School of Visual and Performing Arts, where he spent the next 30 years teaching Color and Light, Aesthetics, Design, Drawing and Painting, and experimental film courses. He also directed several films, including THE FISHERMAN; PRIMAVERA; PEOPLE, PURPOSE, PROGRESS; and MAGIC COLOR MACHINE; a series, ART: IMAGES OF MAN for New York State Educational Television, and co-authored SYNAESTHETIC EDUCATION.
Throughout his career, Onofrio always remained vigilant for new ideas and sources of meaning. His knowledge was encyclopedic, and he welcomed all to partake, to the great benefit of his students and colleagues. He strove to maximize the creative potential of all who engaged. He was the educator's educator.
Onofrio retired in 1992 to focus on caring for his wife, Faye, who had been diagnosed with ALS. Despite the challenging situation, he maintained a graphic design studio, Artigraphics, through which he provided logo design and consultation services, along with continuing his own artistic endeavors. He produced an additional pair of books: DOCUMONTAGE, a selection of graphical works, and COLOR SENSIBILITIES, a compendium on color as a multi-sensory phenomenon, which was completed shortly before his passing.
Onofrio was predeceased by his parents, Calcedonio and Maria Giordano, his brother, Joseph Giordano, and his wife, Faye Rheingold Giordano. He is survived by his sister, Maria Catina Farrar; his sons, Calcedonio Charles Giordano, Charles Fenn Giordano, and Meyer Joseph Giordano; and his granddaughter, Bella Marie Giordano.
He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and students, but he lives on through the indelible and immeasurable effect of the education he provided to all who encountered him.
Funeral services will be held at 10 am on Wednesday October 7, at Burns-Garfield Funeral Home, 3175 E. Genesee St Syracuse. All are welcome to virtually attend the service on a live stream beginning at 9:55AM at www.facebook.com/burnsgarfield Burial will follow at the Onondaga County Veterans Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the charity of your choice.