Field Notes

PSST: Sherrill Roland

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SEASON 2: Mass Incarceration

For its second season of public conversations, the Portland State Social Practice Talks public conversation series has focused on various aspects of the prison-industrial complex in the United States. These talks have ranged from artists to reform advocates, playwrights to curators, all engaging with, challenging, and questioning the role of prisons in our society. The conversations serve as a form of public research in relation to an ongoing project at the Columbia River Correctional Institution. The goal is learning how different people approach contact with the corrections system, and the potential role of art in this context. The conversations were held publicly at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.

This week we are joined by Sherrill Roland. The full conversation can be heard here.

Sherrill Roland is a returning student entering his thesis and final year of my Master’s in Fine Arts at UNCG. He started a few years ago before his world turned upside down. In October 2013, Sherrill went to trial and subsequently lost, and 11 months later he was released from state prison in Washington, DC. Almost a year and a half after being released, he was exonerated of all charges and granted a bill of innocence.

The Jumpsuit Project is a socially engaged art project conducted at UNCG during the 2016-17 academic year to raise awareness about issues relating to incarceration.