page image: Vulcan 5 studio morning. Photo by Bill Lassell
There is an inherent paradox when working with so responsive a material as clay. Traces of touch - fingerprints, knuckle marks - are formed, moment by moment, with relentless fidelity. Such intimate contact of hand and clay remains far beyond the process, beyond even the life of the artist; it is a permanent record of human impermanence. - Susannah Israel
Carnegie Arts Center
Firing Imagination: Contemporary Ceramics & Glass
A juried exhibition highlighting the demanding technical aspects and the wide variety of creative exploration possible in these challenging media. Works in any glass or ceramic technique, including mixed media works that feature glass or ceramic elements, were considered eligible for the show. Entries were accepted from throughout the Western United States. The show was juried by well-known artists Susannah Israel and Otto Rigan, with 51 works by 26 artists selected for the exhibition.
"Edgy... one of the most fascinating artists working in the field today."
California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art
"Allegory" (above) was made and installed in 1994 at CSU Bakersfield. It represents the culture & history of the region. As Faith Ringgold famously tells us, the personal is political. I received an award from the 510.0rg for my work, which challenges notions of race, gender and culture. Most importantly, I have been told hundreds of times that people see their own stories in my work.
"There is a vast landscape over these pieces that required close attention. Each piece (is) an invitation to a long conversation with the viewer. I wanted to hang out with them, pull up a chair, get to know them and hear stories about them - like I feel when I read a good book." Linda Fahey
"Susannah Israel’s “Le Sacre du Printemps,” is vibrantly hot-hued and textured with saturated color spilling from the figure’s hands onto a piano keyboard. The Oakland artist’s intuitive storytelling approach, is translated into three-dimensions."
"The creations of award-winning California artist Susannah Israel reflect a deep understanding of our collective past." Deanna Selene
"I enjoy the absoluteness of Susannah Israel's clay expression."
Kari Christensen, Fletcher Challenge, New Zealand
Activist from birth, Susannah Israel is an artist, writer and educator on a mission for truth. Israel's expressive work is widely shown and held in collections around the world. Her allegorical sculptures question assumptions of race, gender and culture. Israel began writing art reviews in 2000 to support and showcase the talent being excluded by galleries and museums. While teaching at Laney College (2001-2018), she advocated fiercely for all students, taking on advising, writing curriculum and serving as chair, even though she was an adjunct with no insurance. Israel earned a BA and MFA from San Francisco State University, and is the only artist ftom the US ever to win the Fletcher Challenge Premier Award. She is a longterm resident of Oakland.