#76759: Featuring the House That Herman Built by jackie summell and Herman Wallace
In 2003 visual artist jackie sumell asked Herman Wallace, one of America’s most famous prisoners and a Black Panther activist, “What kind of house does a man, who has lived in a 6-by-9-foot cell for over 30 years, dream of?”
The House That Herman Built is an on-going art project that radically transformed both the lives of sumell and Wallace. Featured in this exhibition is a model of Herman’s House, the prison cell model, books from Herman’s reading list, blueprints of the house and a series of original letters between sumell and Wallace.
jackie sumell is a multidisciplinary artist inspired most by the lives of everyday people. Her work speaks to both traditional artist communities and those historically marginalized from the political process. Her work was a centerpiece for the 2008 New Orleans Biennial, Prospect 1, the 2010 St Etienne Design Biennial and Nancy Solomon’s Westobou Festival 2012. sumell received a MFA from Stanford University and currently resides in New Orleans where she continues to work on Herman’s House and several other advocacy-based projects.
Herman Wallace was born in the 12th Ward in New Orleans in 1941, and his entire life has been a sacrifice to serving justice and ending the suffering of all those serving unjust prison sentences, especially those forced to endure long term solitary confinement. Deep into his 41st year of solitary confinement, he believed whole heartedly in justice, peace and the power of the people.