Headlands Center for the Arts

jackie sumell

new york | social practice
Artist in Residence Program 2019

Artist Biography

jackie sumell is a multidisciplinary artist and prison abolitionist inspired most by the lives of everyday people. Her work has been successfully anchored at the intersection of activism, education, and art for over a decade, and it has been exhibited extensively throughout the US and Europe. She has been the recipient of multiple residencies and fellowships including an A Blade of Grass Fellowship, Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship, Soros Justice Fellowship, Eyebeam Project Fellowship and a Schloss Solitude Residency Fellowship. sumell’s collaboration with Herman Wallace (a prisoner-of-consciousness and member of the “Angola 3”) was the subject of the Emmy Award-Winning documentary Herman’s House (Best Artistic Documentary 2013). sumell’s work with Wallace has positioned her at the forefront of the public campaign to end solitary confinement in the United States. sumell’s work explores the intersection of social sculpture, mindfulness practices, and prison abolition.

While at Headlands

While at the Headlands,  I will further my prison abolition projects and continue building the diverSEEDing Toolkit, currently in its nascent idea stages. I will also use the time at Headlands to work on my large scale installation central to Solitary Gardens and Herman’s House. This installation will continue elevating the conversation around alternatives to incarceration, or prison abolition.

Selected Works