jackie sumell: Solitary Garden

jackie sumell: Solitary Garden

Institute of the Arts and Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz

jackie sumell, Solitary Garden, 2019

November 4, 2019
jackie sumell
Solitary Garden
November 5, 2019–January 29, 2021
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064
United States
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The Institute of the Arts and Sciences is proud to present the participatory public sculpture and garden project Solitary Garden, by jackie sumell.

Solitary Garden Opening Reception
Baskin Art Studios, Quad
November 5, 5:30–6:45pm

Traction: Art Talk with jackie sumell
Digital Arts Research Center (DARC) 108
November 5, 7–9pm

Solitary Garden, located at UC Santa Cruz on a slope near the Baskin Art Studios and overlooking Monterey Bay, consists of a sculpture of a solitary confinement cell surrounded by a garden of flowers and vegetables. While currently incarcerated in San Quentin State Prison, Tim Young is designing the garden and communicating his ideas for sustained planting and harvesting to students and volunteers through letters and drawings. The goal of the garden is to transform this image of confinement into a flourishing space of nourishment and hope.

As sumell explains, the process of collaboratively nurturing the garden is an opportunity for participants to “imagine a landscape without prisons. While the United Nations has condemned the practice of solitary confinement as torture,” the artist continues, “there are an estimated 61,000 people held in isolation for 22–24 hours each day in US prisons. Solitary Garden is a call to end this appalling practice.”

Solitary Garden is part of Barring Freedom, a multi-faceted, 18-month project by the Institute of the Arts and Scieces, which includes exhibitions of art, events and workshops, and a multi-day symposium at UC Santa Cruz, “Visualizing Prison Abolition,” October 15–17, 2020.

jackie sumell is a multidisciplinary artist and activist whose work has been exhibited extensively throughout the US and Europe. Her residencies and awards include 2017 Blade of Grass-David Rockefeller Fund Joint Fellow in Criminal Justice, 2016 Robert Rauschenberg Artist-As-Activist Fellowship, 2015 Eyebeam Project Fellowship, and 2008 Akademie Solitude Fellowship. An ardent public speaker and prison abolitionist, sumell has lectured in colleges and universities around the U.S. sumell began the Solitary Gardens project to honor the legacy of political prisoner Herman Wallace, who was held in solitary confinement for over 40 years and with whom jackie corresponded and collaborated for 12 years. Her collaborative work with Herman Wallace, The House That Herman Built, is the subject of the Emmy Award Winning documentary Herman’s House, screened to a national audience on PBS in 2013. sumell’s work explores the intersection of creative practices, mindfulness studies, social sculpture, and the principles of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.

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Institute of the Arts and Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz
November 4, 2019

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