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Jentel Critic at the Bray
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Jentel Critic at the Bray

A residency for writers interested in the ceramic arts

Two western arts organizations have teamed up to advance critical and creative writing and thinking in the field of ceramic art. The Archie Bray Foundation, one of the nation’s oldest residency programs is teaming up with one of the country’s newest, the Jentel Foundation of Banner, Wyoming. The collaboration is aimed at developing opportunities for more informed and thoughtful critical writing about the ceramic arts on a national and international level, and further enriching the creative environment of both residency programs.

Starting in early May of each year, the Jentel Critic at the Bray will spend up to two weeks at the Bray, meeting and learning about the Bray’s Taunt, Lilian, Lincoln, Matsutani, and MJD Fellows and their artwork, as well as experiencing firsthand the creative environment that helps nurture their work.

Mid-May through mid-June will be spent at the Jentel Artist Residency Program, where writers can take advantage of the quiet environment to focus on developing the material gathered to produce five 500-word essays about the Bray fellowship artists and their work.

The Bray’s Fellowships are awarded annually to ceramic artists who demonstrate exceptional merit and promise. The beneficiaries of the fellowships are expected to embrace the Bray experience of community and exchange, and focus their attention on producing and exhibiting a significant body of work during their one-year residency.

All applications will be accepted online through To apply click on the button below or go to and select the Writer Residency link. You will be able to register an account, submit writing samples along with a resume/cv and contact information for three references.

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Applications and supporting materials are accepted year round but are reviewed after January 15 for the following year.

May 1—14 is spent at the Archie Bray Foundation (these dates are flexible)
May 15—June 13 will be spent at Jentel (these dates are not flexible)

The Bray provides housing while in Helena and will pay the writer $2000 upon completion of the essays, due July 1 of the residency year.

Jentel provides private accommodations, a separate studio and a $400 stipend to help defray expenses. The stipend is distributed in four separate installments at the end of each week spent at Jentel. Travel and personal living expenses—e.g., food, phone, expenses related to the production of work—are the responsibility of the writer.

Both foundations are deeply committed to providing an environment that supports the creative work of artists, and welcome hardworking artists who are serious about their intent. The artists who participate in the residency program may or may not be well known or have proven themselves by publication or solo exhibition, but all show the ability to articulate a strong personal vision.

The Jentel Artist Residency Program is located on a 1000-acre plus working cattle ranch 20 miles southeast of Sheridan, Wyoming (population 18,500). Set in the rolling sage hills along Piney Creek with views of the Bighorn Mountains, the Jentel Artists Residency Program offers a spectacularly beautiful place and unfettered environment for visual artists and writers. The program provides a resource of time and space for artists and writers of all genres to create their best work. Jentel residents are at liberty to structure their own time and activity. They may choose to maintain their privacy or to engage with other residents and activities. The writer will be offered private, comfortably furnished accommodations and a light, airy workspace, but needs to bring their own typewriter or laptop. Areas inside and outside are reserved for residents. Common spaces include a library, recreation area, and a great room. A large kitchen adjacent to the living area may be used for food and meal preparation.

Visit their web site at

The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts is located three miles from downtown Helena, Montana, (population 25,000) on the 26-acre site of a former brickyard. It was the first residency program in the US devoted solely to the ceramic arts, and since it was established in 1951, has served as a leading workplace for ceramic artists from around the world. While the historic brickyard and surrounding mountains contribute to the creative environment, more important is the dynamic arts community created by the residents themselves, and the Bray’s rich history of creative experimentation and excellence.

Pets are not allowed at either facility.

Jentel is a smoke-free environment and smoking is not allowed in any of the buildings at the Archie Bray Foundation.

Past Jentel Critics:

click on the years below to view past articles

2018 - Anthony Stellaccio
2017 - Sarah Archer
2016 - Andrew Glasgow
- Jill Foote-Hutton
- Nancy M. Servis
2013 - Paul Northway
2012 - Tanya Hartman
- Susannah Israel
2010 - Paul Mathieu
2009 - Forrest Snyder
2008 - Ashok Mathur
2007 - Casey Ruble
2006 - Melissa Post
2005 - Allison Zimmer
2004 - Stephanie Lanter