A Show Like This Redefines an Artist

Three FAC permanent collection artists
comment on Terry Maker: Reckoning

At the February Members Preview for Terry Maker: Reckoning, a standing-room only crowd filled the Music Room to hear the artist explain her influences and the motivation for her work. The audience was a mix of FAC members, family and friends of the artist, a large contingent of local gallery owners and curators, and three prominent members of a very elite group: artists who have works included in the FAC’s permanent collection.

Sean O’Meallie, Bill Amundson and Chuck Forsman have all contributed so much to the Colorado art scene over the past decades. It was a rare opportunity to have them gather in the FAC galleries to support a fellow contemporary artist.

“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.”

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. His drawings have been on exhibition in solo shows in New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and more. He understands how important a solo show is in an artist’s career.

“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.”

Little known fact, Ringo Starr owns a Bill Amundson.

Chuck Forsman’s Native Land has been a patron favorite since the FAC acquired it in 1998 through funds provided by the Debutante Ball Committee. Forsman’s work is also in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, Phoenix Art Museum and the Kemper Museum for Contemporary Art. Forsman was also a professor of fine art at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

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.”

Originally published in the Dec. 2011 – March 2012 edition of ArtsFocus
(Vol. 8, Issue 2) for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

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