At first blush, the show has a carnival atmosphere; it’s filled with neo-pop wall panels and sculptures in bright colors. The apparent subject is medication, since many of the pieces include renditions of capsules and others feature pill bottles, prescriptions, side-effect warnings and other pharmaceutical detritus. Several works have biblical titles that, in light of the drug references, would seem to indicate an ironic conceptual underpinning to the show: “Religion is the opium of the people” and all that. But according to Terry Maker, nothing could be further from the truth. For her, medicine and religion are bound together by their shared healing qualities, and both are very important to her personally. So the show’s mirthful feeling notwithstanding, these pieces celebrate medicine and faith.
The exhibit’s showstopper is the monumental wall sculpture “Job’s Lament.” In this horizontal diptych, Maker has used saw-cut aggregated paper and paint to convey a multi-colored hill rising from left to right, set against the sky. In a non-repeating pattern across the panels, she has affixed variously sized capsules.
“The pills are marking an uphill battle,” explains Maker, “only to know that we are mortal creatures and this world is temporary.” The piece is breathtaking, and the medical school really ought to think about acquiring it; it would be perfect at the pharmacy school.
ucdenver.edu for hours and directions — a necessity if you haven’t been there before.