Skip to Content

Radical Acts: A conversation with Sheryl Oring and Sherrill Roland

Image: courtesy of Sherrill Roland from The Jumpsuit Project.
Image: cour­tesy of Sher­rill Roland from The Jump­suit Project. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021
1:00 – 2:00 pm


Virtual Event


Lecture / Discussion
Open to the public
Free of charge

Registration is required. RSVP here.

Rad­i­cal Acts: Build­ing an anti-racist future through art
A con­ver­sa­tion with Sheryl Oring and Sher­rill Roland

Stamps Gallery in part­ner­ship with U‑M Democ­racy & Debate Theme Semes­ter is proud to present a con­ver­sa­tion with lead­ing social prac­tice artists Sheryl Oring and Sher­rill Roland, Cre­ative Cap­i­tal awardees and prac­ti­tion­ers nation­ally renowned for their long-term and ongo­ing per­for­mance projects, I Wish to Say and The Jump­suit Project. Oring and Roland lever­age their socially engaged art prac­tices as a vehi­cle to acti­vate democ­racy and build aware­ness of the sys­temic bar­ri­ers within the incar­cer­a­tion and crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tems.

Join us for a lively and inti­mate con­ver­sa­tion with Oring and Roland, who are also long­time friends and col­lab­o­ra­tors, as they dis­cuss the urgency and com­plex­i­ties of mak­ing socially engaged projects in our present moment. The con­ver­sa­tion will be mod­er­ated by Stamps Gallery Direc­tor, Sri­moyee Mitra.

Sheryl Oring acti­vates democ­racy through art. She is the cre­ator of the I Wish to Say pub­lic per­for­mance project, through which she has typed more than 4,000 post­cards to four dif­fer­ent U.S. Pres­i­dents from more than 100 loca­tions across the coun­try since launch­ing the project in 2004. Her book, Acti­vat­ing Democ­racy: The I Wish to Say Project, was pub­lished by the Uni­ver­sity of Chicago Press. Other recent projects include large-scale pub­lic art com­mis­sions at air­ports in Tampa and San Diego. Oring is the recip­i­ent of grants from Franklin Fur­nace Fund, Cre­ative Cap­i­tal Foun­da­tion, the Amer­i­can Coun­cil on Ger­many, the New York Foun­da­tion for the Arts and the North Car­olina Arts Coun­cil. Oring’s work has been shown at Bryant Park in New York; the Berlin Wall Memo­r­ial; the Jew­ish Museum Berlin; the 01SJ Bien­nial in San Jose, CA; the San Diego Museum of Art; as well as in major fes­ti­vals such as Encuen­tro in São Paulo, Brazil, and the Art Prospect Fes­ti­val in St. Peters­burg, Rus­sia. Her work is in col­lec­tions includ­ing the Library of Con­gress, the Museum of Mod­ern Art (NY) and the Tate in Lon­don and has been reviewed in numer­ous pub­li­ca­tions. She is Pro­fes­sor and Chair of the James Pear­son Duffy Depart­ment of Art and Art His­tory at Wayne State Uni­ver­sity in Detroit.

Sher­rill Roland is an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary artist who cre­ates art that chal­lenges ideas around con­tro­ver­sial social and polit­i­cal con­structs and gen­er­ates a safe space to process, ques­tion and share. He was born in Asheville, NC, and received an MFA in Stu­dio Art from the Uni­ver­sity of North Car­olina at Greens­boro. Inspired by his expe­ri­ence in prison for a crime he did not com­mit, he founded The Jump­suit Project to raise aware­ness around issues related to mass incar­cer­a­tion. Roland’s socially-engaged art project has been pre­sented at Open Engage­ment Chicago, Oak­land City Hall, and the Stu­dio Museum of Harlem. He is a 2021 awardee of Art for Jus­tice Fund and Cre­ative Cap­i­tal awardee.