Cynthia Reynolds | Samantha M. Connors

Curated by Danielle Degon

Automat Collective is excited to present a two-person exhibition by artists Cynthia Reynolds and Samantha M. Connors in our new gallery space, located in the Crane Arts building. Void Fill is an upcoming exhibition of new sculptures created from discarded, single- use materials. It will be on view at Automat Collective, located at 1400 N American St. Suite 105, Philadelphia, PA 19122, from October 2—October 30.

In Void Fill, Cynthia Reynolds and Samantha M. Connors delicately transform single use materials into patterned sculptures which contemplate the construction of self within a culture of overproduction. Through laborious processes of trimming, weaving, and layering, these artists create works that ask of themselves, “What is my purpose?”, “Where do I belong once my purpose has been served?”, and “Am I bound to the space which asks to be filled?”. The sculptures included in this exhibition—created from cardboard, plastic, dryer sheets, metal ties, Styrofoam, and wool—recontextualize materials that typically occupy unfilled space and reveal their potential for subjecthood.

Cynthia Reynolds has been using packing materials in her work for over 20 years. Through intricate processes, she explores the single-use material’s functions, fragility, and status as non-object. In Void Fill, she exhibits several works which have been delicately handled and stripped of their structural capacity. She simultaneously exposes the consumed space while depleting the materials of their intended function. Cynthia Reynolds is a Kentucky-born, New York-based visual artist. Prior to her move to NYC in 2014, she was a member of the artists group ENID: Generations of Women Sculptors, completed a residency at Louisville Stoneware, and received funding awards from the KY Foundation for Women and the KY Arts Council. From 2017-2020, she was a member of the Wayfarers gallery and studio program in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. She is a current member of Paradice Palase. She made her curating debut in 2020 with a group exhibition of 18 mostly New York-based artists. She holds degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle (MFA), the Kansas City Art Institute (BFA), and Centre College (BA). Her work has been exhibited across the U.S., most recently at Equity Gallery in New York, NY; Ejecta Projects in Carlisle, PA; and Quaid Gallery in Tampa, FL.

Samantha M. Connors creates weavings that reference the purpose, process, and effects of newly constructed buildings in Philadelphia. Using various single-use materials, they create soft sculptures which consider how one’s perception changes alongside a changing urban landscape. In this exhibition, they utilize the grid shape to contemplate the method by which empty spaces are filled. Samantha M. Connors is a Philadelphia-based artist who reflects on issues surrounding gentrification, chronic illness and harm reduction. They have completed residencies at Pink Noise Projects in Philadelphia, PA, Cassis Artist Residency in Cassis, France, Ora Lerman Trust in Laceyville, PA, and The Sable Project in Stockbridge, VT. In 2020 they had a solo show at SHOEBOX gallery. Connors holds a BFA in Fiber and Material Studies from Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. They are the Co-Director of Da Vinci Art Alliance, a member of Paradice Palase in Brooklyn, NY, and a member of the Common Field Network.

Void Fill will open on Saturday, October 2 with a public reception on Thursday, October 14 from 6 pm—9 pm. The exhibition will be open to the public on Saturdays from 12 pm—6 pm through October. Masks are required for all visitors while in the gallery.