ART of Infertility is a traveling art exhibit and oral history project that documents the experience of infertility. Through storytelling and artwork, ART of Infertility translates the experiences of infertility patients to medical practitioners, physicians, and legislators. It is hoped that the project displays the human experiences of infertility rather than reinforce the medical discourse of the disease.
Our goals are several. An overarching goal is to raise infertility awareness and general infertility advocacy. To do this, we gather the stories, art and writing that infertile individuals have created to heal and/or represent their experiences of infertility. An additional aim of the project is to support medical humanities education, educating physicians about the day-to-day realities of patient experiences with infertility. The project also offers a community of support to those with infertility through art and writing workshops that accompany the exhibits.
ART of Infertility does not subscribe to a particular ideology about who is infertile. We believe that infertility impacts and affects diverse populations, ranging from infertile wo/men, friends and family of infertile individuals, as well as the medical professionals and legislators making fertility decisions. We are interested in sharing the experiences of infertility from all of these perspectives.
Elizabeth Walker is the founder and curator of ART of Infertility. With a degree in photography from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, she is a staff photographer for the University of Michigan Medical School’s Department of Pathology. The focus of her personal photographic work shifted to documenting the lives of those with infertility through portraits and interviews, in order to allow them healing through sharing their stories, and, to share those stories with medical practitioners and legislators, advocating for improvements to the care of those with the disease. Elizabeth is also a peer-led infertility support group leader and a volunteer photographer for the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange.
Maria Novotny is a PhD student in Rhetoric & Writing at Michigan State University, studying how medical discourses of infertility interact with embodied orientations to the infertility experience. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the intersections of rhetorical studies and medical humanities, functioning as bridge between medical institutions and the individual patient. She works with Elizabeth to collect the stories of infertile women and men. The telling, collecting and sharing of stories is important to advocacy and infertility awareness efforts. Her research has been published in several rhetoric and feminist scholarly journals such as Peitho, Enculturation, and Feminist Formations. She also received the CCCC 2015 Gloria Anzaldua Rhetorician Award for her infertility activist research.
We’d love to hear from you! To contact Elizabeth, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (517) 262-3662. To contact Maria, please send an email to email@example.com or call (414) 530-1517.