Creative Pinellas Presents “Sheryl Oring: Writer’s Block”
Largo, FL— Creative Pinellas is pleased to announce the first 2019 Gallery at Creative Pinellas exhibit. Exploring the role of the arts in social justice, “Sheryl Oring: Writer’s Block” is a powerful symbolic statement on free expression and censorship. The installation features a grid of 18 sculptural boxes welded from rusty construction steel that “imprison” hundreds of 1920s and ‘30s-era typewriters. By caging these typewriters, Oring figuratively seizes the tools of the writer, creating a forceful visual statement.
“Writer’s Block offers important historical lessons,” says curator Danny Olda, “and it’s also very poignant in the current socio-political climate when questions about truth and what should or should not be said or printed are questions people are asking every day. I’m thrilled that Creative Pinellas has the opportunity to bring this exhibit to our community.”
“Sheryl Oring: Writer’s Block” will be presented as an open run starting Thursday Feb. 7 with a reception and gallery talk with the artist. The opening reception starts at 6 p.m. in the Gallery at Creative Pinellas (formerly the Gulf Coast Museum of Art) 12211 Walsingham Road in Largo. The gallery talk, facilitated by Creative Pinellas Curator Danny Olda, starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by a Q&A with the audience. A short documentary film exploring Oring’s inspiration behind the installation will also be screened in the gallery. This event is free and open to the public.
In addition, Sheryl Oring will be leading a workshop for artists that will focus on the fundamentals of bringing your socially engaged public art and practice to life and getting it out into the world. This Lunch & Learn opportunity titled An Artist’s Guide to Getting Your Social Practice Project Off the Ground, will be held at the Creative Pinellas Arts Business Incubator, 12211 Walsingham Rd, Largo, FL 33778, on Feb. 8 from 12 to 1:30 p.m.
“When we were approached with the opportunity to bring Sheryl Oring’s work to Pinellas County we had to say yes,” says Barbara St. Clair, the Executive Director of Creative Pinellas. “One of our most important goals is to make art and creativity accessible to all. Oring has been a leader in doing this in her career–breaking through cages, so to speak– and we want to be part of that legacy.”
Oring premiered Writer’s Block in the Bebelplatz public square in Berlin, the site of an infamous book burning that saw the destruction of approximately 20,000 books at the hands of Nazi officials and student groups. Using tools typically employed by journalists–the camera, the typewriter, the pen, the interview and the archive–she examines critical social issues and public opinion and fosters open exchange.
Oring received her MFA from the University of California at San Diego and works as an Associate Professor of Art at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She recently completed a public art commission at the San Diego International Airport and is currently at work on a public art commission at the Tampa International Airport.
For more information visit www.sheryloring.org/writers-block/ or register for the workshop at www.creativepinellas.org/workshops. Interviews with the artist and photos/video are available to members of the press.
About Creative Pinellas
At Creative Pinellas our mission is to facilitate a vibrant, integrated, collaborative and sustainable Pinellas County Arts Community and arts and cultural destination. We strive to be the premier Local Arts Agency, recognized locally and globally for our contribution to arts and culture. We are focused on creating vibrant communities; supporting artists, arts organizations and the creative community; supporting economic development; showcasing Pinellas County as an arts and cultural destination; and making arts and creative expression and experience available to all.
For exhibit updates and information visit our website and sign up for our mailing list at www.creativepinellas.org/contact-us
As the County’s Local Arts Agency, Creative Pinellas and the programs we deliver are funded by the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, Visit St Petersburg / Clearwater, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and by sales of the State of the Arts specialty license plate in Pinellas County.