Photos left to right - Elizabeth, Maria, Robin
Elizabeth Horn (pictured left) is the co-founder and co-director of The ART of Infertility. A photographer by training, Elizabeth earned her degree in photography from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. She has worked as a health care communicator for more than 2 decades and currently develops communications strategies and content for the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Cardiovascular Consortium (BMC2) and the Michigan Structural Heart Consortium (MISHC). BMC2 and MISHC collect data on health care procedures and outcomes. Members of the consortiums then use that information to develop and implement projects to improve quality of care and outcomes for patients across the state of Michigan. After Elizabeth's infertility diagnosis, the focus of her artwork shifted from photography to using a variety of mediums to express her experiences with infertility. She also began documenting the lives of others with infertility through portraits and interviews, allowing them healing through sharing their stories. These stories are shared with medical practitioners and legislators, advocating for improvements to the care of those with the disease. A long-time advocate of patients having an active role in determining their care, Elizabeth works closely with patient advisors to develop resources for patients and care providers. The ART of Infertility received the 2018 Hope Award for Innovation from RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association for its work communicating patient experiences through arts programming. Elizabeth lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Maria Novotny, PhD, (pictured middle) is a co-founder and co-director of The ART of Infertility and an assistant professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she teaches in the PhD Program in Public Rhetoric and Community Engagement. Her dissertation, “The ART of Infertility: A Community Project Rhetorically Conceiving Failed Fertility,” overviews her collaboration with The ART of Infertility and features the stories of three infertile women who created pieces of art for the project. The findings of her research document how art, an extension of multimodal-making, is used as a rhetorical practice to navigate (and advocate after receiving) an infertility diagnosis. Broadly, her research advocates for curated exhibits of patient artwork as a method to facilitate more effective, patient-centered communication in healthcare settings. Maria's research on infertility and reproductive justice has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Rhetoric of Health and Medicine, Rhetoric Review, and Technical Communication Quarterly. The ART of Infertility was the 2018 recipient of the Hope Award for Innovation, given by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association for its work communicating patient experiences through arts programming. Maria lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Elizabeth and Maria began their work together after meeting in May of 2014 in Washington, D.C., where they were both lobbying for infertility legislation on Capitol Hill. Discovering they were both peer-led infertility support group leaders, they decided to meet monthly for dinners to be a support to each other and began discussing their shared interest in documenting and archiving the narratives of those with infertility. Those dinners quickly turned to ART of Infertility project meetings and they have been collaborating since.
Robin Silbergleid, PhD (pictured right) Robin Silbergleid is a poet and nonfiction writer; with Elizabeth Horn and Maria Novtotny, she is the co-editor of Infertilities, A Curation (Wayne State University Press.) Since 2014, she has developed writing and art workshops for The ART of Infertility, including the “Reproductive Writes” series; she has also supervised student research and internships on infertility and reproductive education. She is the author of several books that are centrally concerned with infertility and recurrent reproductive loss, as well as single motherhood, including the memoir Texas Girl (Demeter Press 2014), The Baby Book: Poems (CavanKerry 2015,) and In the Cubiculum Nocturnum (Dancing Girl Press 2019;) with Kristina Quynn, she co-edited Reading and Writing Experimental Texts: Critical Innovations (Palgrave 2017). Her current research project is a monograph tentatively titled Queer Mother Memoirs: Experiments in Life/Narrative that offers a hybrid critical-creative analysis of contemporary memoirs by and about queer mothers. Born and raised in Illinois, she holds both a PhD in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from Indiana University. She is currently a professor of English and associate chair for undergraduate studies at Michigan State University. She lives in East Lansing, Michigan.
Elizabeth, Maria, and Robin work with a large network of artists, writers, and volunteers who help make the project possible. If you'd like to join in the ART of IF's mission, please email email@example.com or call Elizabeth at (517) 262-3662.