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Photography alum featured in Madison, WI solo exhibition

Photography alum Sarah Stankey ’13 shares the vulnerable and traumatic experience of 90 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in her new exhibition “What to Expect,” hosted by Madison’s Arts + Literature Laboratory as part of the Bridge Work Madison program. The exhibition runs until December 22, 2022. 

In her artist statement, Stankey describes her expectations and plans for her pregnancy, which were destroyed when her baby was born three months early. “I was right about one thing, the moment I became a mother was transformative,” she says in her statement. “The memory of our ninety days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is like a whiplash… This exhibition is the culmination of me piecing my memories back together and attempting to live alongside the trauma.” Conveying such a deeply personal experience in an exhibit, Stankey shares that “being vulnerable is extremely difficult, but I think the even harder aspect is maintaining professionalism and composure in that vulnerability.”

At MIAD, Stankey was shaped by exacting photography professors who “emphasized professional practices and the ability to talk about your work in a coherent manner.” She credits her instructors with preparing her for graduate studies in photography later in her career. Being an artist can be isolating after school, so Stankey encourages current students and young creatives to proactively “attend events, meet people in the industry and other artists. Most of all, be a decent human being to others.” Coming up in 2023, Stankey has another exhibition at the Overture Center in Madison and will be continuing her Bridge Work Fellowship with the Arts + Literature Laboratory.

Keep up with Sarah on her website and learn more about visiting her exhibition!

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