Sheryl Oring is dean of the School of Art. As an artist, she investigates social issues through projects that blend old and new media as a way to tell stories, explore public opinion and invite an open exchange of ideas.
Sheryl Oring’s work has been shown at Bryant Park in New York City, the Berlin Wall Memorial, the Jewish Museum Berlin, the 01SJ Biennial in San Jose and the San Diego Museum of Art, as well as in major festivals, such as Encuentro in São Paulo, Brazil, and the Art Prospect Festival, St. Petersburg. Her artist books are in numerous collections, including the Library of Congress; the Tate Modern, London; and the Bibliothèque Nationale de Luxembourg.
In 2004, Oring began I Wish to Say, for which she has typed nearly 4,300 postcards at dozens of locations across the country and has sent them to four different U.S. presidents. Across the project’s more than 100 performances, Oring dons 1960s secretary attire and establishes a makeshift office—complete with a vintage manual typewriter—in a public place. Passersby are invited to dictate postcards to the sitting president. After typing them verbatim, Oring sends the original postcards to the White House and keeps a copy for her project archive, hosted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Library. Oring presented a virtual iteration of the project during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in 2016, she was joined by 60 of her students to present a large-scale version in New York’s Bryant Park.