A photo exhibition depicting Denver women in the sex industry opened Thursday in Room 506 of the University of Wyoming’s Coe Library.  Presentations and a public reception will run from 7-9:30 p.m.  The display will continue through Dec. 19.

Wendy Perkins, a graduate student in communications and journalism, put together the exhibition, which portrays the summer 2015 lives of several former and current sex workers.  She says that the human qualities of women in the industry are often ignored or overlooked.

“Drug abuse, crime, poverty, mental illness or desperation are more often highlighted by media. Sex industry workers are ordinary women,” said Perkins.  “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.”

According to Perkins, the women share their stories in a dignified and natural way, rather than resorting to sensationalism.

“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 reception included a viewing beginning at 7 p.m., as well as a presentation by Perkins at 7:30 p.m.  Associate Professor of Women’s Studies Susan Dewey presented at 8 p.m., followed by questions, discussion, and refreshments at 8:30 p.m.