UPDATE: Polypharmacized received the Award of Excellence, the highest honor, during the Chester County Art Association's Fine Art/Fine Craft exhibition.

In creating “Polypharmacized: The Face of Autism,” a 48” x 60” painted sculpture made from over 1,200 prescription pill bottle parts, I show my concern for my adult son Justin and those with autism, vulnerable people.  

Friends, family, neighbors, Pat the postal clerk, Rita our developmental pediatrician's executive assistant, Justin's babysitters and many more saved the orange bottles. After 10 years, I had amassed over a thousand that I stored in huge black trash bags. Never sure how the bottles would be used, I just knew they were important.

Over a period of two months, I painted my son’s portrait on a raised panel, primed over 1,200 pill bottle parts and adhered each to the panel. I then painted each pill bottle and finished with a protective varnish.

Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are a highly medicated population and polypharmacy, defined as "the simultaneous use of multiple drugs to treat a single ailment or condition," is a significant concern. My goal in creating "Polypharmacized: The Face of Autism" is to get conversations started. For parents to know it's okay to ask their child's physician why multiple medications are being prescribed. Will one or two medications do the job instead of three or four? Let's try! It's time to step away from the prescription pad.

Polypharmacized, winner of the Award of Excellence at the Chester County Art Association.