Shining a Light on Prison Reform through Art

November 14, 2018

Kate AlbersA group of artists, historians, activists, educators, and participants directly affected by incarceration came together for a unique conference that focused on how art and art-related programs can have a positive impact on prison reform.

Associate Professor of Art History Kate Palmer Albers participated as a respondent and will be contributing an essay to the forthcoming publication about the conference. Albers’ research focuses on the ways photographic images can create visibility for marginalized communities and create avenues to alter prevailing historical narratives. 

“I was heartened to see the tremendous work underway by an impressive range of participants seeking to bring more humane conditions to prisons; awareness of deep and complex structural changes of these issues; and, ultimately, changes in the way mass incarceration is handled in this country,” said Albers. “I was so impressed with the artists and the art work around which the conference was organized.” 

The three-day symposium, Envisioning the Role of Arts in Criminal Justice Reform Conference, was held jointly at the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University. Both institutions hosted art exhibitions by various artists that specifically addressed this issue.