In 2020 and 2021, the Stowe Center commissioned two original works of art, one by multidisciplinary artist jackie sumell, director of Solitary Gardens, in honor of 2020 Stowe Prize winner Albert Woodfox, and the second by Judy Dworin of the Justice Dance Performance Project. These projects were designed to use creative expression to explore historical themes and social justice issues today. Both sumell’s Solitary Garden installation and Dworin’s collaborative dance and spoken-word performance, Emergence, address issues relating to incarceration and bridge community-based action with each artist’s creative impulse and practice, as discussed in the accompanying Salon.
Hear artists jackie sumell and Judy Dworin in conversation about their work as activist-artists addressing contemporary social justice issues, especially the racial disparities of the criminal justice system and the process of community return for formerly incarcerated individuals. jackie sumell is a multidisciplinary artist who 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, and she has received numerous residencies and fellowships. Judy Dworin is a dance/theater artist and educator committed to inspiring social action through her work with the Justice Dance Performance Project (JDPP), which she founded in 1989. JDPP’s performance residency at York Correctional Institution for women that began in 2005 has catalyzed the development of a comprehensive arts residency program reaching out to incarcerated women and men, as well as their families. Judy is a Professor Emerita in Theater and Dance at Trinity College where she recently received an honorary doctoral degree of Fine Arts.