May 31, 2012

Three FAC artists comment on "Terry Maker: Reckoning"

Terry Maker, Spiney Urchin (detail), 2009. Resin, sea shells, 71.5 x 6 x 2 inches.

  “A show like this redefines an artist.”

Terry Maker: Reckoning closes this Sunday, June 3, but when it opened back in February, the Music Room was filled with a standing room only crowd to hear artist Terry Maker share her influences and motivation behind her exhibition. The people in attendance included FAC members, gallery owners, curators, family and friends of the artist, and three prominent members of a very elite group: artists who have works included in the FAC's permanent collection. 

Sean O’Meallie, The Last Piece, 2009. Polychrome, wood
Sean O’Meallie, Bill Amundson and Chuck Forsman have all contributed significantly to the Colorado art scene over the past decades, and it was a rare opportunity to have them gather in the FAC galleries to support a fellow contemporary artist and share their thoughts.

“The chance to see a strong and active regional contemporary artist’s work in a grand setting is an important event,” said Sean O’Meallie. “The FAC has seized an opportunity and put together a great exhibit.”

O’Meallie was recently featured at the FAC in Danger Toy Love Gun in 2010 and captured the region’s imagination with The Chair Project in Manitou Springs.

“In Maker’s work I see a playful, unbiased and often funny exploration of matter resulting in an engaging rumination on human circumstance,” he said. “Maker’s instincts and compulsion to probe and question here result in our own delightful and puzzled engagement with the work and the mental process of its maker (pun unavoidable).”

Bill Amundson, one of Colorado’s most prominent contemporary artists, recently moved to Wisconsin. He just happened to be in Colorado on the weekend and decided to attend his first opening reception at the FAC.

“Terry’s work ethic and output are astonishing, and she is always moving forward, so you never know what you’re going to see at any given show,” said Amundson. “I’m amazed by the constant variations she’s managed to make on the unique techniques she uses. She pretty much invented that technique, so she truly is one of a kind.”

Bill Amundson, Branded Man, 2006. Graphite on paper.
Amundson’s contribution to the FAC collection is the memorable drawing Branded Man, a self-portrait with the addition of numerous corporate logos drawn on his noggin.

Amundson was a morning disc jockey on the radio before turning to art full-time; the interest of an art collector in Amundson’s work was a motivating factor.

“A show like this redefines an artist,” said Amundson.

“In this case it makes you realize the scale of Terry’s achievement, and makes a very convincing argument that she is indeed a major artist. You don’t get this feeling from smaller gallery shows. I know a lot of work goes into installations to make them appear effortless, and that certainly is the case with this exhibition.”

Chuck Forsman, Native Land (detail), 1993. Oil on masonite.
Chuck Forsman’s Native Land has been a patron favorite since the FAC acquired it in 1998. Forsman was also a professor of fine art at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and Terry Maker was one of his students.

“Terry was my student in grad school many years ago and I have followed her work with interest and some pride,” said Forsman. “She is a wonderful artist, full of surprises. I wanted to see the show and show my support.

“I particularly liked the white suitcase full of holes because of the beautiful patterning and commentary on rootlessness in our culture,” he said. “Another favorite was the piece with pencils and erasers sticking out of the back. I also like the textures, beauty and suggestiveness of the smaller jaw breaker and shredded and rolled pieces.”

The final word from Chuck Forsman:

“Terry’s work is quirky, technically
bewildering, imaginative and full of innuendo.
The works quote sculpture and painting and dare you to label it as either. She’s an artist.”

  Terry Maker: Reckoning | Closing June 3

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