About the Artist

Renaldo Hudson identifies as an artistic expressionist committed to ending mass incarceration. His art is reflective of the pain and the beauty of resisting the status quo. While on death row, Renaldo learned to express himself with oil and acrylic paints to escape the horrors of death row. Now that he is free, he makes art to expose the inhumanity of death by incarceration facing people with life sentences, also known as the other death penalty. Renaldo is the 2021 Artist for the People Practitioner Fellow with the Pozen Center Human Rights Lab and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. He is also the Education Director at the Illinois Prison Project.

The Pozen Center Human Rights Lab actively engages University of Chicago students and community members in solutions to human rights problems, advancing new questions around human rights theory and practice through the lens of deep research, experiential learning, and critical community-building. In its first five years, under the leadership of Director of Human Rights Practice Alice Kim, the Lab is addressing the intersecting human rights crises of racialized policing and mass incarceration in the United States.

Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project (PNAP) is a visual arts and education project that connects teaching artists and scholars to incarcerated students at Stateville Correctional Center, a maximum-security prison outside of Chicago, through classes, workshops, a policy think tank, and guest lectures.

Illinois Prison Project Deeply ingrained systemic racism. Extraordinarily long sentences. No parole or mid-sentence review. These are just some of the factors that contribute to mass incarceration in Illinois.

The prison system makes no room for compassion, nor is there recognition within the criminal legal system that people change or grow. By creating many ways into the prison but almost no way out, Illinois’ criminal legal system has wrought extraordinary moral and fiscal costs for individuals and communities. At the Illinois Prison Project, we fight against regressive policies, racist practices, and a system that treats people as disposable with a mission focused on hope, compassion, and humanity.

Through advocacy, public education, and direct representation of thousands of needlessly incarcerated people, we bring hope to and fight in the community with incarcerated people and their loved ones for a brighter, more humane, more just system for us all.

                                                 Virtual gallery created by Indigo Wright.