Guest Blog from Susan Lenz in Paradise


I am so honored to have my work as the cover article of Jasper’s latest issue!  Unfortunately, I had to miss the Pink Power release party held right outside my studio door at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios.  Why?  Well, I was in Key West experiencing a “month of Sundays”, a dream-come-true art residency with The Studios of Key West.


It all started during “First Thursday” on Main Street over a year ago.  I was at Anastasia’s and Friends Gallery listening to actor Paul Kaufmann talk about his time at this fabulous place.  “Paul, what did you say the name of this program is?” I asked.  Later that night I Googled for the information, book-marked the website, and started thinking about my forthcoming application.


I was one of twenty-five lucky artists selected from five different countries for this year’s roster.  Yet, next year’s program is expanding!  Up to forty will be accepted for residencies between October 2012 and August 2013.  Visual artists, writers, composers, performers, and interdisciplinary artists can apply (totally on-line!)


This is a real community … an arts mecca!  Artists-in-residences generally give back to the community through presenting a workshop or class, an exhibition, a reading, performance, concert, or a special project.  I conducted a one-day, sold-out fiber workshop on March 8th.  It was a fantastic experience.  The facilities were better than I could have imagined and the participants were wonderful!  For the rest of my days in Key West, I explored the island on the provided bicycle, worked in my studio, and took hundreds of photos of this tropical paradise.


But that’s not all!  Four visual arts exhibitions have opened at The Studios of Key West while I’ve been here.  I was invited to a concert by three musicians from the Vienna Symphony and another concert by Darrell Scott.  I got to listen to photo critiques for Allan Rokach digital photography workshop and pose for Russian trained/Art Student League instructor Leonid Gervits’ life painting workshop.  Every day has been an adventure … and it is all coming too quickly to an end for me!  I leave at the end of the month.

This, however, can be a new beginning for you!  Just apply.  Also, be sure to “like” TSKW on Facebook!  If you’ve got a questi on, don’t hesitate to contact Elena Devers at  (She’s a friend of Paul’s too!)