Greensboro artist’s New York project gets national attention
NEW YORK — UNC-Greensboro art professor Sheryl Oring and her students used technology from another era to encourage the public to express themselves to presidential candidates this week at New York’s Bryant Park.
As part of the PEN World Voices Festival on Wednesday, Oring created a modern-day typing pool, where typists listened to messages to presidential candidates from passers-by, typed them out using several dozen vintage manual typewriters.
The event caught the attention of NPR and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Oring, a former journalist, has presented “I Wish to Say” performances around the country since 2004, soon after she made the transition to art. To date, she has held 67 performances of “I Wish to Say” at 57 venues, including a park on Skid Row in Los Angeles and a laundromat on the Navajo Nation in Arizona.
In 2004, she was featured as ABC News’ Person of the Week for her letter-typing on the streets of New York during the Republican National Convention.
This was her largest “I Wish to Say” project, with more than 100 volunteers including UNCG students and PEN America members.
The project “offers our students a unique chance to learn by doing, to make art happen outside of the studio and in collaboration with the public,” Lawrence Jenkens, the head of UNCG’s art department, said in a news release.
Oring will mail cards typed during the festival to the candidates.
Messages will be integrated into a show at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem in the fall.