SUSANNAH ISRAEL
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As a young parent seeking a profession, Israel pursued medical training and became one of the first five women paramedics in the city and county of San Francisco. The early days on the city rigs were challenging but fascinating and Israel began pre-medical study at San Francisco State University. Although she completed pre-med, Israel chose art as her major and focused on clay with Joe Hawley, David Kuraoka, Bud McKee and Stephen de Staebler.

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After graduating cum laude with an art major and a chemistry minor, Israel worked at the historic Ruby's Clay Studio collective for a year. She was subsequently accepted as artist-in-residence for three years at the Doelger Art Center, where she produced a body of work which received critical attention, exhibitions and awards including the Virginia Groot grant and the Fletcher Challenge Premier Award. Israel was also chosen as the 7th Annual Sculptor On Campus at California State University, Bakersfield, during this time.

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In 1995 the Doelger Art Center was closed to provide community programs for children. Israel and her partner, composer Ted King, moved to Oakland to the Vulcan Foundry Studios. Israel exhibited work at the East Bay MUD gallery, Lincoln Arts, June Steingart Gallery, Laney College, Virginia Breier, the Korean Embassy in Los Angeles, and was a five-time consecutive award winner at Feats of Clay. She was invited to carve industrial terracotta pipes at the annual Clayfest in Lincoln from 1995-1999. Indra's Net, completed in a single day, is now displayed at Gladding, McBean.
In 1997 Israel was accepted to San Francisco State University for graduate studies, leading to her Master of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics. She gained invaluable experience serving as graduate assistant, and received an Outstanding Graduate Achievement Award and the Vivika Heino Scholarship.

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Israel served at Professor of Art at CSU Bakersfield in Fall 2000, teaching a full load of ceramics and sculpture courses and writing her first curriculum, "Mathematics and Art". At the end of the semester her mother Bonnie Burbank, a painter and lifelong supporter of the arts, was diagnosed with incurable cancer. For the next six months Israel divided her time between Maine and California. In April 2001, Bonnie died peacefully at home, with her younger daughter Archer Israel at her side.