Kara Stallings

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Image of Kara Stallings in black skirt Multi colored short sleeve button up shirt with white paint on her face blue ball cap
Graduate Student

Academic Areas

Research Interests


As a first-generation college graduate receiving her BFA in studio art with a concentration in sculpture and a minor in psychology from Middle Tennessee State University, Kara Stallings considers herself an interdisciplinary storyteller. Growing up in an abusive household in the rural insulating farmlands of Northern Tennessee tucked just outside of the Appalachian Mountains only swelled her need for creative escapes. Dressed in the language of her geography, Kara narrates intimate experiences of trauma, home, grief, and communal vulnerability under both conceptual and satirical platforms.

Serving over six years as the president and co-founder of an expanding grassroots organization that hosts a creative writing community for survivors, witnesses, and allies against sexual and domestic violence, it is essential for Kara's work to stand as an example for speaking up and tilting the discussion of trauma towards acknowledgment and recovery; A process that is inextricably bound to her work. By giving light to these heavy topics while keeping her delivery and mediums diverse, Stallings finds fluidity to explore the interactive skins of authenticity, humor, and spontaneity that performance, video, and installation-based art allocates.

Stallings has participated in over 40 exhibitions to date within Tennessee, Georgia, Illinois, Florida, Nebraska, New York, Wyoming, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, and Iowa alike, and has been published by MTSU's Collage magazine, Nashville Arts Magazine, and Z Publishing House's Tennessee's Best Emerging Poets. Her work has been added to the permanent achieves at the University of Wyoming Art Museum Collection and the Stones River National Battlefield Museum in Tennessee. In 2021, Stallings was accepted on fellowship to The University of Iowa's MA program, where she is continuing to pursue her MFA in Sculpture and Intermedia. 

Selected Works

Photo still of immersive performance and video installation involving collaborative comedic artist duo “KB” and “KB.”
Collaborative performance of artist shaving their head atop crumbling plaster tiles in front of live audience. 2021.
Still photo of performance where artist cooked shchi (cabbage soup) blindfolded while reciting an original poem and story detail
Photographic documented evidence of digital performance aftermath involving tele-present audience engaging in punishments