In Conversation: Jared Owens & Sherrill Roland
Please join us on Thursday, June 1 from 4-6pm for an artists’ talk with Jared Owens and Sherrill Roland. The artists will speak about their work featured in “No Justice Without Love” in conversation with the exhibition’s guest curator Daisy Desrosiers. Sherrill Roland’s sculpture “168.803,” 2021, following the lines of blocks used in building a prison cell, and Jared Owens’s “FBOP (Federal Bauhaus of Prisons),” 2022, an aerial view of a prison complex, both share new, illuminating perspectives on incarceration. Both artists’ works offer new ways of seeing the carceral system’s violences, and center the self-determination and humanity that transcend such structures.
About the speakers
Sherrill Roland’s interdisciplinary practice deals with concepts of innocence, identity, and community, reimagining their social and political implications in the context of the American criminal justice system. For more than three years, Roland’s right to self-determination was lost to a wrongful incarceration. After spending ten months in prison for a crime he was later exonerated for, he returned to his artistic practice, which he now uses as a vehicle for self-reflection and an outlet for emotional release. Converting the haunting nuances of his experiences into drawings, sculptures, multimedia objects, performances, and participatory activities, Roland shares his story and creates space for others to do the same, illuminating the invisible costs, damages, and burdens of incarceration.
Born in 1984 in Asheville, North Carolina, Sherrill Roland studied at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2018) and earned his MFA and BFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2017 and 2009). He has had solo exhibitions at the Shirley Fiterman Art Center, Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York (2019); Maria & Alberto de la Cruz Gallery, Georgetown University, Washington, DC (2019); Brooklyn Public Library (Central Library), Brooklyn, NY (2017); and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles (2017), among others. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA (2020); Tufts University Art Galleries, Medford, MA (2020); Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA (2019); CAM Houston, Houston (2018); and Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (2017). Roland is the recipient of the Creative Capital Award (2021); South Arts Southern Grand Prize & State Fellowship (2020); and was an Art for Justice Grantee (2020), in addition to many other awards and recognitions. He has had fellowships and residencies at Fountainhead, Miami; Duke University, Durham, NC; Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA, among others. Roland’s work is in the permanent collections of the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA; Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Fountainhead, Miami; and Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, Charlotte, NC. He lives and works in Durham, NC.
Jared Owens (1968) is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice focuses on bringing awareness to the plight of nearly 2.5 million people enmeshed in the American carceral state. He is self-taught during more than 18 years of incarceration, working in painting, sculpture, and installation, using materials and references culled from penal matter.
Jared Owens’s current and recent exhibitions include, “111… and other stories,” Malin Gallery, NY (2022); “Chosen Family,” Martos Gallery, NY (2021); “SHAG Right of Return” curated by Dana Gluck, Jesse Krimes, and Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood, Spring Hill Arts Gathering, New Preston, CT (2021); “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” curated by Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood (2020-2021) at MoMA PS1, NY and traveling to Abroms-Engle Institute for the Visual Arts, Birmingham AL (2021), National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, OH (2022), and the List Art Center, Brown University, Providence, RI (2022); “Rendering Justice” curated by Jesse Krimes, at the African American Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA (2021); “The O.G. Experience” in partnership with HBO and SOZE in Chelsea, NYC (2019); “Made in America: Unfree Labor in the Age of Mass Incarceration” curated by Amy Shannon Holiday at Hampshire College, Amhurst, NH (2017); “Black Bone: Affrilachian Poets and Visual Artists” curated by Bianca L. Spriggs at Morlan Gallery, Transylvania University, Lexington, KY (2017). Based in South Carolina from 2015-2021, Owens has shown with Mitchell Hill Gallery in Charleston twice, once as part of the Spoleto Arts Festival in 2015 and most recently in 2018. The first exhibition the artist had was in 2012, at Reflective Equilibrium, Little Berlin Gallery, Philadelphia, PA with Jesse Krimes, while still incarcerated.
In 2020, he received a Right of Return Fellowship from SOZE Agency, and in 2019 a Restorative Justice grant from Philadelphia Mural Arts to create a mural with teenagers under court supervision; in 2016-17 he was the recipient of a grant from the Eastern State Penitentiary to produce “Sepulture,” a large-scale installation. In 2022, Owens was awarded an Art for Justice Fellowship. He has twice received a fellowship from the Silver Arts Program at the World Trade Center in New York (2021 – 2022).
He has presented a number of talks and workshops, including the “Marking Time: Prison Arts and Activism” conference at Rutgers in New Brunswick, NJ, in 2014; “State Goods: Art in the Era of Mass Incarceration (with an installation) at Andrew Feldman House in the Bronx (2017); and “Prison Art and Prison Reform” at Eastern State Penitentiary (2017). He has run numerous workshops, including as program designer and lead instructor for the one-week intensive workshop “The Artist’s Eye” at the Lyric Theater in Lexington, KY (2016), and actively participates in panel discussions centered around mass incarceration and art.
Daisy Desrosiers is an interdisciplinary art historian and the current director and chief curator of Kenyon College’s Gund Gallery. Previously, she was a co-curator of the first MOCA Toronto Triennale, GTA21, and also served as the inaugural director of Artist Programs at the Lunder Institute for American Art at the Colby College Museum of Art. Earlier in her career, she was the inaugural Nicholas Fox Weber curatorial fellow with the Glucksman Museum in Cork, Ireland and a curatorial fellow at Brooklyn-based nonprofit, Art in General. This year she is also part of the Center of Curatorial Leadership (CCL) cohort of 2023. She contributed to the 2021 New Museum Triennial publication and As We Rise (Aperture, 2021). Desrosiers is currently working on a monographic publication about artist Tau Lewis with the National Gallery of Canada.