Laurie Jo Reynolds

Emerging Fields, 2013

Laurie Jo Reynolds is an artist, policy advocate and researcher who has dedicated two decades of work to addressing negative representations of people in prison. Her work strategically engages with government systems, with the goal of concrete political change. For the past eight years Reynolds has focused on Tamms Correctional Center, the notorious supermax prison in southern Illinois designed for sensory deprivation. In 2007, she collaborated with former and current Tamms prisoners, their families, and other artists to launch Tamms Year Ten, a volunteer grassroots legislative campaign seeking to reform or close the prison. Due in part to their relentless efforts, Tamms supermax was shuttered on January 4th, 2013 by Governor Pat Quinn. As a 2010 Soros Justice Fellow, Reynolds researched and advocated for best practices to stop sexual abuse and reduce crime recidivism. In 2014, she and her cat Leon had a residency at the Museum of Arte Util at the Van Abbemuseum in the Netherlands.

Awards and Accomplishments


Reynolds is one of the inaugural recipients of A Blade of Grass Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art.


Reynolds is Unviersity of Illinois at Chicago's School of Art and Art History's new Assistant Professor of Public Arts, Social Justice and Culture 


Laurie Jo Reynolds, and her cat Leon, were invited for a two-month residency at the Museum of Arte Util at the Van Abbe Museum in the Netherlands


Reynolds wins Creative Time's Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change