Sheryl Oring

From Wikitia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sheryl Oring
Add a Photo
Known forPerformance art using a typewriter
Notable work
"Writer's Block" and "I Wish to Say"
StylePerformance Artist
MovementFree speech
AwardsFellow, New York Foundation for the Arts
Grant Recipient, Creative Capital Foundation

Sheryl Oring (born circa 1966) is an international performance artist and art professor.[1] She is known for the "I Wish to Say" series of performances, where participants dictate messages that she transcribes using an old typewriter. She is also the Chair of the Wayne State University College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts#James Pearson Duffy Department of Art & Art History at Wayne State University. She began her career as a journalist, before moving to Germany to study art.

Early life and career

Oring was born circa 1966.[2] Her parents were both academics.[3] As a child, she moved to New York, near Cornell University, where she was exposed to political advocacy at a young age.[3] Oring earned a Bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Colorado in 1987.[4] She then moved to California, where she worked as a journalist for about a decade.[3][4] Oring held positions at the International Herald Tribune,[5] the San Francisco Chronicle, and briefly at The New York Times.[2] Oring became disenchanted with the media and moved to Germany to study art for six years.[2][5]

According to Oring, her work as an artist was influenced by the political clout artists have in Germany.[3] In 1999,[2] Oring created an exhibit called "Writer's Block," which featured 600 typewriters in 21 metal cages.[2][6] The exhibit was regarding the censorship of Jewish citizens in Nazi Germany.[2][3] It was first exhibited in 1999 at the site of a Nazi book burnings. The exhibit was later shown at Bryant Park, the PEN America Center, in Budapest, and other locations.[2] Oring was inspired to create the exhibit in part by a memorial by artist Micha Ullman on Bebelplatz in Berlin, Germany.[2]

Oring was an assistant professor at University of North Carolina at Greensboro[7] and now serves as the Chair of the Wayne State University College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts#James Pearson Duffy Department of Art & Art History at Wayne State University.[8]

"I Wish to Say"

Oring grew frustrated that many Europeans stereotyped Americans as supporting war in general[9] and the 2003 Iraq War specifically.[6] She moved back to the United States,[10] and created a performance art piece called "I Wish to Say."[11] In this exhibit, people dictated letters to then-President George W. Bush that Oring typed-up on a postcard using an old-fashioned typewriter. The postcards were addressed to the White House and Oring kept carbon copies.[5][6] The very first "I Wish to Say" performance was done in February 2004 for the First Amendment Center|First Amendment Project.[9] The performance was originally intended to demonstrate the range of opinions Americans have.[9][11]

Oring continued doing similar participatory artworks using a typewriter for decades.[12] Within the first year, she had typed 600 postcards and travelled 5,000 kilometers setting up the exhibit in different U.S. states.[6] Then, she presented similar performances in Germany, prior to the election of a new Chancellor,[5] and near where the Berlin Wall used to be, where she asked participants what thoughts the wall prompts for them.[13] In 2006, Oring did a performance on the U.S. President's birthday, whereby participants wrote birthday messages to the President.[14] The themes of the performances have changed over time, with changes in popular political issues, policies, and presidents.[10] In one performance, she asked people in the Tampa Bay area to tell her what they love about Tampa, Florida, as part of a public art project commissioned by the Tampa airport.[15]

By 2018, Oring had typed several thousand postcards and performed the work more than 71 times.[10][16] Some of the postcards were used in an art exhibit at the The Kennedys (museum)[13] in Berlin, Germany and she wrote a book based on the exhibit called “Activating Democracy: The ‘I Wish to Say’ Project.” The book is focused on free speech and political participation.[16] Oring won several awards and grants as a result of the exhibit series, such as a grant from Creative Capital and a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.[16]


  1. White, Ann Lawrence (January 26, 2021). "Tampa Airport Debuts 'Greetings From Tampa Bay' Public Art". The Patch. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Loos, Ted (September 21, 2003). "Machines that Speak Volumes". The New York Times.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Klin, Richard (2011). "Sheryl Oring - Some Kind of Power to That Moment". Something to Say: Thoughts on Art and Politics in America. Teaticket, Mass. St. Paul, Minn: Leapfrog Press. pp. 89–102. ISBN 978-1-935248-19-4. OCLC 719319913.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Oring, Sheryl (2008). I wish to say : the birthday project. Ann Arbor, Mich: Quack! Media. ISBN 0-9800890-0-X. OCLC 191809285.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Von Jody K. Biehl (August 17, 2005). "Wenn ich Kanzler ware..."". Spiegel.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "One-Woman Campaign Shows Diversity of American Political Opinion". Deatche Presse-Agentur. September 2, 2004.
  7. Driever, J.; Woodham, E.; Brooks, K.; Fombella, T.; Marshall, V.; Brent, A.; Pujol, E.; Montano, L.M. (2013). Art in Odd Places 2011: RITUAL. p. 185. ISBN 978-1-300-93814-9. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  8. White, Ann Lawrence (January 26, 2021). "Tampa Airport Debuts 'Greetings From Tampa Bay' Public Art". The Patch. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Kaufman, Joanne (September 2, 2004). "Postcards to the President? Performance Art". The Wall Street Journal. p. D16.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Graham, Alison (September 30, 2018). "W&L students share postcard messages to Donald Trump in visiting art project". Roanoke Times. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Segal, David (September 2, 2004). "N.Y. Expressionism". The Washington Post. p. C01.
  12. "'Dear Mr. President,' the postcards began in 2004. Now the greetings are darker". Washington Post. November 5, 2018. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Coombs, Gretchen (June 1, 2018). "Inside Out:". idea journal. The Interior Design - Interior Architecture Educators Association. 15 (1): 90–101. doi:10.37113/ideaj.vi0.55. ISSN 2208-9217.
  14. Smith, Robert (May 31, 2006). "Happy Birthday, Mr. President, from Art Fans". NPR. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  15. Company, Tampa Publishing (January 15, 2017). "Sheryl Oring wants to hear your stories for a Tampa International Airport art installation". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 DeCwikiel-Kane, Dawn (October 20, 2016). "Have typewriter, will travel: UNCG professor turns popular project into book". Greensboro News and Record. Retrieved June 29, 2021.

External links

Add External links

This article "Sheryl Oring" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.