Art Grants, Awards, Commissions, Exhibitions 

2019   Minnesota State Arts Board grant for Suicide Survivors' Club 5-book set, in partnership with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Minnesota on a series of workshops for suicide loss survivors and mental health professionals

2017   Midwest Book Award for Suicide Survivors' Club 5-book set 

  Suicide Survivors' Club 5-book set, American Death Education Council national conference, Minneapolis MN 

2014  Suicide Survivors' Club 5-book set, St. Catherine University Art Gallery, St. Paul MN 

2012   Installation, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education memorial event, Minneapolis MN

2011   Installation, Our Homeless Teens, Minnesota State Capitol Building, St. Paul MN

2010   Inspire Arts Program, art exhibit at Hennepin County Medical Center Hospital, Minneapolis MN

2008   Forecast Public Artworks research and development grant

2007   2-person show for Women’s Art Institute, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis MN

2006   Group show, Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN

2004   Stairwell installation, north stairwell of RiverPlace II, Blue Cross commission. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Eagan MN

2003   Stairwell installation, south stairwell of RiverPlace II, Blue Cross commission. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Eagan MN

2002   KidMail, International Children’s Festival June exhibit, Ordway commission. Ordway Center for Performing Arts, Rice Park, St. Paul MN

2001   Story Leaf Project, International Children’s Festival June exhibit, Ordway commission. Ordway Center for Performing Arts, Rice Park, St. Paul MN

2000   Electronic Literature Generator, Jerome Foundation grant. Open Book Literary Center, Minneapolis MN

1999   Big Friends, 2-week holiday installation, Friends School commission. Friends School, St. Paul MN

1998   Big Women installation, 3 evenings in July, Weisman commission. Weisman Art Museum at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN

1998   New American Portraits, 7 hr video projection installation, FORECAST Public Artworks / United Arts grant. Hennepin County Government Center, Minneapolis

1996   Big People, month of May projection installation, FORECAST Public Artworks grant. Cedar-Riverside People’s Center, Minneapolis MN

1993   Vertical Sidewalk, month of April, projection installation. 
Cedar and Riverside sidewalk/Second-Story Books, Minneapolis MN

1992   I’m As Sick As Your Secrets, month of February, projection installation. Window of house at 27th Ave. SE and Yale Ave., Minneapolis MN

1990   2-person show, WARM Gallery, Minneapolis MN

1987   Group show, Art Space, San Francisco CA

Design History 

2018-2007   Laurie Phillips Design. Clients include the African American Leadership Forum, Museum Sage, Two Dames and Friends, Thomson Reuters, Larsen Design, Haberman and Associates, Kirkpatrick Design, Woychick Design, and the League of Rural Voters.

2006-1986   Employers include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, IVI Publishing, the Nancekivell Group, McCool & Company (formerly part of Fallon Worldwide), the Science Museum of Minnesota, Landor Associates, and Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich Publications.

2005  Outstanding Design award presented by Graphic Design USA magazine for a public art mural project in two stairwells at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota campus building. 


2006-2004   MFA program at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Trustees’ Scholarship (ABT)

2000   Graduate work at MCAD’s Institute for Public Art

1998-1993   Classes/collaboration with artist Dorit Cypis

1998-1990   Graduate classes in critical theory and art history at the University of Minnesota with Griselda Pollock and Slavoj Žižek

1981   Graduate work at the San Francisco Art Institute, class with Vito Acconci

1979-1976   University of Colorado at Boulder, BA in Fine Arts


2017   Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention gatekeeper program (3 hours)

2014   Eden Energy Medicine certification program, year one (400 hours)

2011   Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) meridian tapping, Levels 1 & 2, from EFT Universe, taught by Dawson Church (60 hours)

2009   Exceptional Volunteer Coach, presented by Life's Headwaters, coaching for change (100 hours)

2008   Healer Development Program from Psychology of the Body (60 hours)

2004   Relationship Systems Coaching Training, presented by the Coaches Training Institute and the Center for Right Relationship (12 hours)

2000   Co-Active Leadership Program, from the Coaches Training Institute (300 hours)

1999   Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, from the Coaches Training Institute (200 hours)

1998   Integrative Creative Studies Program at the University of St. Thomas, Management Center (90 hours)


LAURIE PHILLIPS makes art that asks the question, “What’s it like to be you?”

Star Tribune art critic Mary Abbe wrote this about Laurie’s piece in the February 2014 group show at St. Catherine University’s art gallery: 

“The most emotionally affecting piece in this exhibit is ‘Suicide Survivors’ Club: A Family’s Journey Through the Death of Their Loved One,’ a series of little books designed and produced by artist Laurie Phillips about a family’s emotional upheaval following the suicide of a husband and father of three.

Each book tells the story of one survivor in simple, moving words, the mother tangled in legal and survival problems, the college-age daughter emotionally derailed, sons age 5 and 7 drifting between play and incomprehension. Phillips’ imaginative watercolors, shifting perspectives and whimsical cartoons set just the right tone, conveying the tragedy’s pain and resolution without sentimental pathos…. Several gallery visitors on a recent morning paused to read the little books and then began spontaneously talking about them with other visitors.”

Laurie has had a successful career as a public artist from 1992 - present, and was an award-winning graphic designer from 1986-2019.

Her public art has been about animating everyday sites — stairwells, building exteriors and lobbies, public parks, streets — by collecting and telling stories about the people who inhabit these spaces, using projection and other ephemeral techniques.

The subjects of these temporary works have been people absent from our collective public narrative: patrons and staffers of a low-income veterinary clinic, immigrant teens, women with unpopular body shapes, street poets, introverts, people who need exercise. She has found ways to use 22 years of experience as a life coach to elicit these stories and tell them in sensitive and powerful ways.

In 2004 she started doing indoor gallery art — the Story Graph Portraits. These combine photographic images with written narrative fragments excerpted from interviews with the subject. The pieces of the story are arranged so as to graph the subject’s shifting emotions, from high/ecstatic to low/desperate. She adds redrawn graphic icons to underline and universalize these emotions. In this way she has told stories of people living with breast cancer, those growing up with parents who survived the Holocaust, and women living with an eating disorder. 


Laurie also worked as a stress relief coach for women who felt overwhelmed by their job, their health or their relationships. She was a national workshop leader for institutions like Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Gilda’s Club cancer resource center, Adler School of Coaching, Struthers Parkinson’s Center and American Death Education Council. 

She runs a program called Museum Sage that helps museum visitors receive insight into their personal lives through reflection and self-coaching using the art in museum collections.

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