Susannah Israel was selected as 2011 Jentel Critic at Archie Bray, holding the unique distinction of having been both writer-in-residence and artist-in-residence (2002) at the Bray.
Israel spent the first two weeks of May in Montana, interviewing the Bray’s 2011 Taunt, Lilian, Lincoln, Matsutani, and MJD Fellows about their artwork, experiencing firsthand the creative environment that helped create the work for their farewell exhibitions that summer.
May 15 through June 15th was spent in residence at the Jentel Foundation Program, to take advantage of the isolated environment while writing five 500-word essays about these Bray fellowship artists' work.
This is what she says in her exit interview.
"By nature I am a worker bee, dedicated to service in my community. Jentel pampered us, providing beautiful, inspiring surroundings and giving me time to work on anything I wanted. In this amazing place, I wrote stories, articles, a sequence of poems, and the catalog essays about five Bray artists that is the reason for this collaborative residency.
"I made drawings every day, completing 15 large-format drawings called the Jentel Suite. I joined Wyoming artists for Sheridan Celebrates the Arts, publicly sculpting a figure in clay.
The finished piece, My Wyoming, is in the collection of the Ceramics Department in Sheridan College, with thanks to Rod Dugal for his support.
"At Jentel Presents I gave a public reading of The Creek Is Rising, a suspenseful story about the lives of the Jentel residents on May 21st, 2011, the day the world was supposed to end.
"I wrote a review about the amazing Transcendent show at Pence Gallery, which is published in Ceramic Art & Perception.
"The article "Jennifer Brazelton: Essential Structures" can be read here, and the complete Jentel Suite will soon be posted on this site.
"To quote Alan Rickman, it was 'like pouring gasoline on a fire.' I am forever grateful to the Bray and Jentel Foundations and I am, frankly, intoxicated by all this honey."
Jentel Exit Interview