Island artist awarded Wyoming fellowship

Kristin Tollefson, artist and education director at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, has been awarded a fellowship by the Jentel Artist Residency Program.

Jentel is located in a rural setting, on a working cattle ranch, in the Lower Piney Creek Valley approximately 20 miles southeast of Sheridan, Wyoming.

Tollefson will be among the award recipients focusing on their own creative projects for a month at this working retreat for artists and writers. The residency is competitive; a panel of arts and literary professionals review samples of artists’ work before making final recommendations for residency awards.

She is a Bainbridge artist who creates studio sculpture and jewelry, ephemeral installations, performances, and permanent public commissions inspired by the relationship between humans and environment.

Her work draws on botany, astronomy and fractal theory to inform her formal language of lines, clusters and pattern and her conceptual investigation of memory, relationships and mapping. Using studio work both as an end unto itself and as a testing ground for large projects allows Tollefson to work through technical and aesthetic questions on a small sculpture or jewelry scale. Curiosity, research, intuition, drawing, structure-building and considerations of the human body and adornment also figure prominently in her creative process.

During the four-week residency, artists and writers experience unfettered time to allow for thoughtful reflection and meditation on the creative process in a setting that preserves the agricultural and historical integrity of the land.

Jentel provides communal spaces designated for research, recreation, food preparation, and dining. Each artist and writer is offered a private comfortably furnished accommodation and a light airy work space along with a stipend to help defray living expenses during the program.

During her time at Jentel, Tollefson will reportedly delve into building a body of work in anticipation of inclusion in the Fiber 2020 exhibit at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, and a solo show at Seattle’s METHOD Gallery in late 2020.

Working with themes of landscape and narrative with deeply feminist and ecological threads, she’ll pursue a series of drawings, constructions out of woven wire and stitched beads, and jewelry during the residency.

For more information, visit www.jentelarts.org.

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