DENVER - An art exhibit that opens this week in Denver's RiNo district is called "One in Eight."
You might ask: 'one in eight what?'
The answer is clear when you walk through the door of the Ice Cube Gallery.
One in eight couples in the U.S. have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy.
However, a lot of couples who deal with the pain of infertility are reluctant to talk openly about it.
"Infertility is a scary, lonely thing," Jen Burdess said. "I'm one of the lucky ones and have a beautiful 7-month-old son after all the heartache."
Burdess is an artist who decided to use her talent to explain what she and her husband faced.
For this exhibit, Burdess reconnected with Anne Hallam, her former art teacher at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Together, they want to start a conversation about the grief and anxiety many couples face along with the hope and joy that is possible thanks to assisted reproductive technology.
Hallam has struggled with infertility for four years. Burdess spent three years in uncertainty but remained committed to assisted reproductive technology before her son Elliot arrived last August.
Burdess made linoleum prints on more than 400 breast pads, which are usually just for nursing moms to wear. The round colorful prints are strategically arranged on a large wall. A fraction them are printed in red to signify the one in eight couples who are infertile.
Burdess calls this large piece "Nature, Nurture."
"This work has given me some sort of closure to a period in my life of uncertainty and anxiety," Burdess said.
Both Burdess and Hallam feel a huge sense of relief that they've opened up about their infertility.
Hallam's "Vacancy: Another 28 Days" combines paper cut outs and pen and ink work. She features empty nests and empty cribs.
"I thought it would be really painful to make work about this but it's quiet work so I spent a lot of time writing, skating and building these things," Hallam said. "It wan't stressful making the work it was quiet therapeutic."
Hallam also blacksmiths and makes jewelry. She has necklaces on display that address infertility. She calls them amulets that comfort and encourage the wearer.
The timing of the opening this Friday, April 29 times out perfectly since this is National Infertility Awareness Week.
"One in Eight" will show at the Ice Cube Gallery through May 21.
For more information on infertility and possible solutions: http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/infertility/