The ART of Infertility, a national arts organization cofounded by a University of Wisconsin Oshkosh English professor, presents a three-month-long exhibit at the Kaldas Center for Fertility, Surgery and Pregnancy in Appleton.
The Fertility in the Fox Valley exhibit, which runs April 6 to June 15, features stories and art created from infertility patients across the U.S. and a selection of local pieces.
“As a native of Wisconsin now living in the Fox Valley, I know from personal experience with infertility that not talking about challenges conceiving does not help. Infertility can be an isolating, stigmatized disease,” said Maria Novotny, an UWO assistant professor of English.
“We need to start talking about reproductive loss and changing laws so that adoption and fertility treatments are more accessible to all. We hope that The ART of Infertility begins these conversations and helps others see the power of artistic storytelling.”
Novotny cofounded The Art of Infertility in 2014 with Elizabeth Walker. The organization curates innovative and emotionally provoking art exhibits to portray the realities, pains and joys of living with infertility. The founders also design engaging curriculum to host art and writing workshops and plan educational outreach events.
Novotny’s research investigates the narratives infertile patients create and how they make public experiences of infertility as a method for reproductive activism. Her work has been published in several academic journals and health humanities publications.
Over 120,000 people in Wisconsin are living with infertility. In Appleton, Dr. Rami Kaldas, founder of the Kaldas Center for Fertility, Surgery and Pregnancy located at 701 S. Nicolet Road, works to help many diagnosed with the disease.