The Graduate Review


This body of work portrays my time being a gestational surrogate for a family member and the honor I felt to be part of the journey. As a surrogate you are opening your life – physically and mentally to carry someone else’s load – for me this was a choice, a joy, and not a burden. This work takes the form of a large mixed media installation, which chronicles the complex journey I had as a gestational surrogate. Wall-mounted assemblages take viewers through a timeline documenting the different chapters of this experience. Stages include contracts and legal status, medical examinations and preparation, implantation, and my relationship with the family. The assemblages contain altered medical documents, medication, correspondence, tins, hair, breast milk, and personal items collected during the surrogacy. While this pregnancy was not always easy, the hard work and challenges do not make it less important or rewarding. I am devoted to sharing this story and remove the stigma that surrogacy would be an impersonal service or doomed to end with a sense of loss. The gift of surrogacy is invisible after the baby is born. This work provides visual evidence of this intangible experience.

Note on the Author

Megan Kenealy is an artist and art teacher living in southeast Massachusetts. She received her Bachelor of Arts from BSU. Before becoming a teacher, Kenealy worked in museums and art institutions throughout Massachusetts such as the Institute of Contemporary Art, Fuller Craft Museum, and the North Bennet Street School. She has been teaching for over ten years in public schools. When not in the studio or teaching, she enjoys spending time with her two kids and husband outside playing all the games and sports or tending to her garden. Kenealy expects to receive her Master of Arts in Teaching in Visual Arts from BSU in December 2023.