jackie sumell

New Orleans, Louisiana

About jackie sumell

jackie sumell’s work is at the intersection of abolition, social practice, and contemplative studies. She has spent the last two decades working directly with incarcerated folx, most notably, her elders Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. She has been the recipient of multiple residencies and fellowships including, but not limited to, an A Blade of Grass Fellowship, Creative Capital, Art 4 Justice, Robert Rauschenberg Artist-as-Activist Fellowship, Soros Justice Fellowship, Eyebeam Project Fellowship, and a Schloss Solitude Residency Fellowship. sumell’s work invites us to imagine a landscape without prisons. She is based in New Orleans, LA, where she continues to work on Herman's House, Solitary Gardens, The Prisoner’s Apothecary, and several other community-generated, advocacy-based projects.

Program Participation

Joan Mitchell Center Residency, 2021

Website / Social Links

The art critic would tell you I am a ‘social sculptor’; my calloused hands would tell you that is not a complete story. I build. For nearly two decades, I have rebuilt isolation cells based on drawings from prisoners I work intimately with. I bring their drawings to life through wood, metal, and organic materials. My work has required some fabrication, but the most fulfilling legacy is generated by relationships.”