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Exhibition on Denver Women in the Sex Industry Opens Thursday

October 8, 2015
woman sitting on the edge of a small bed
This is among images in Wendy Perkins’ photo exhibition on Denver women in the sex industry. (Wendy Perkins Photo)

A photo exhibition depicting Denver women in the sex industry opens with a public reception and presentations Thursday, Oct. 15, from 7-9:30 p.m. in Room 506 of the University of Wyoming Coe Library.

The exhibition, by Wendy Perkins, graduate student in communications and journalism, will be on display in level 3 of Coe Library through Dec. 19. She says the photos highlight the lives of several sex workers, current and former, during summer 2015. 

“The women were followed in their day-to-day lives, showing their routines, hobbies and interests,” Perkins says. “The exhibit visually focuses on the women as ordinary people, and is supplemented by a text narrative of the women's lives.”

The human qualities of women in the sex industry are often overlooked or ignored, she says. 

“These women are not seen as someone’s daughter, sister, mother, wife or friend. The harsh realities of the industry overshadow the individuality of these women,” Perkins says. “Drug abuse, crime, poverty, mental illness or desperation are more often highlighted by media. Sex industry workers are ordinary women.” 

She says the women share their stories in a manner that provides dignity and reality rather than sensationalism. 

Thursday’s reception features a viewing starting at 7 p.m.; a presentation by Perkins at 7:30 p.m.; a presentation by Susan Dewey, associate professor of women’s studies at 8 p.m.; and discussion, questions and refreshments at 8:30 p.m.

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