The 50 Most Political Art Pieces of the Past 15 Years

20. Tamms Year Ten by Laurie Jo Reynolds, 2008 - ongoing

Video artist and 2013 Creative Capital grant awardee, Laurie Jo Reynolds has taken it upon herself to do what some people may consider impossible: to achieve "concrete policy change... using an arts and culture approach to cultural organizing." Today, most political works only say things, and few do much of anything other than momentarily impact viewers. Reynolds' work centers around conditions in prisons and practices such as solitary confinement that engage in "fear-based criminal justice policies." In addition to being one of 14 Soros Justice Fellows, Reynolds is the chief coordinator of the group Tamms Year Ten, a successful grassroots campaign to close the Tamms supermax prison in Illinois. Her work is not just something provocative to hang above a rich person's couch but is instead making a real difference in legislative policy and people's lives. The photograph above is one of the mud-stenciling campaigns organized by Reynolds and carried out by Tamms Year Ten and number of local artists.

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