The Jumpsuit Portal


Sherrill Roland is an interdisciplinary artist who creates art that challenges ideas around controversial social and political constructs, and generates a safe space to process, question, and share.

Artist Bio

The criminal justice system in the US is intentionally fragmented and often invisible to those who do not have a direct connection with it. In The Jumpsuit Project, Sherrill Roland wears the iconic, orange prison jumpsuit and engages people in conversation, disrupting spaces in the art world, higher education, and other places where issues around criminal justice do not normally appear. As a socially-engaged performance, the work centers around making connections both within and outside of the incarceration system through performance and a digital hub. Roland aims to build a new narrative around criminal justice, working toward lasting national policy changes by disrupting the local incarceration system.


Award Year
2021
Status

In Progress

An African American man, wearing green baseball cap, black sweatshirt and black pants leaning on white steel I-beam pillar. Behind him is the corner of a studio, with the left wall expose brick and the perpendicular right wall painted white. A cinder block, plywood and wooden frames are laid on the floor and along the wall.

Sherrill Roland

Durham, NC

Sherrill Roland is an interdisciplinary artist who creates art that challenges ideas around controversial social and political constructs, and generates a safe space to process, question, and share. He was born in Asheville, NC, and received an MFA in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Inspired by his experience in prison for a crime he did not commit, he founded The Jumpsuit Project to raise awareness around issues related to mass incarceration. Roland’s socially-engaged art project has been presented at Open Engagement Chicago, Oakland City Hall, and the Michigan School of Law. He was awarded the Center for Documentary Studies Post-MFA Fellowship in the Documentary Arts at Duke University in Durham, NC, and the Rights of Return USA Fellowship. After completing the Fountainhead Residency in Miami, Florida, Roland returned to North Carolina as an artist-in-residence at the McColl Center of Art + Innovation.