Arts In: Sheryl Oring
You might think that Sheryl Oring’s work is about old-fashioned manual typewriters. But her compelling style of public art is about memory, and stories.
Sheryl Oring’s powerful body of work gives voice to writers who were silenced, and helps people share stories and make their voices heard.
In this vibrant conversation, she explains how she developed Writer’s Block to honor the writers, dancers and musicians whose work was banned in Nazi Germany. From the first manual typewriter she bought in Berlin, to the construction crew charmed by her bold request for rebar, to the night she debuted the work where Nazis burned books in the rain in 1933 – and hundreds of people under umbrellas watched dancers and musicians performing in the rain on her monumental sculpture installation, of typewriters trapped in cages.
Dressed like a secretary in the 1950s, Sheryl has created vibrant public art projects that invite people to dictate a postcard to politicians. She asked New Yorkers what they’d like people to remember about 9/11, and gave recent immigrants the opportunity to write a letter to their ancestors.
She’s currently at work on Greetings From Tampa Bay, gathering stories that will become a piece of visual art at the Tampa Airport.
Sheryl Oring talks about public art that engages a community and leaves powerful, lifelong memories, and the life-changing results this kind of art can give.
Find out more about Sheryl Oring’s work at https://www.sheryloring.org.
Get updates about Greetings From Tampa Bay at https://www.sheryloring.org/greetings-from-tampa-bay
Arts In is produced by Matt and Sheila Cowley. Executive Producer, Barbara St. Clair for Creative Pinellas.