curated by Cynthia Reynolds
video produced by Cynthia Reynolds

October 2-30, 2020 | Ejecta Projects | Carlisle, PA

Kate Alboreo
Yael Azoulay
Patty Barth
Claire Blanchette
Elisabeth Condon
George Ferrandi
David B. Frye
Tom Keating
Cynthia Mason
David McQueen
Maureen O’Leary
Kimberly Reinhardt
Cynthia Reynolds
Samantha Robinson
Jillian Rose
Jonathan Sims
Meredith Starr
Elise Wunderlich

what we create may save us

The Great Oxygenation Event, which occurred approximately 2.3 billion years ago, radically altered the earth’s atmosphere. It made possible the development of more complex and diverse forms of life, even as it caused those dependent upon previous conditions to die off. This global transformation was brought about by cyanobacteria, which use photosynthesis to convert sunlight into energy and release oxygen as a byproduct. For reasons that are not entirely clear, the cyanobacteria began to produce oxygen in quantities sufficient to overwhelm the “sinks” – environmental factors that absorb oxygen and prevent it from accumulating in the atmosphere. Increased levels of free oxygen eventually gave rise to things that could breathe, and led to the extinction of things that could not.

Today, we find ourselves at another atmosphere-defining crossroads, both figuratively and literally. We face grave threats to the survival of our democracy, our health, and our planet. As we grapple with painful aspects of our history, navigate our increasingly fraught relationship with the truth, adjust to existential dangers posed by simple human contact, and recognize our role in the destruction of the environment, we ask ourselves what part we can play in transforming our toxic atmosphere. As artists, we take up the mantle of the cyanobacteria to which we owe our existence. We filter our inspirations through encounters with the natural and built worlds, the past and the future, the unknown and the familiar, and the beautiful and the ridiculous. We release the byproducts of our observation, alienation, humor, skepticism, joy, anger, hope, and disillusion into the atmosphere in an effort to overwhelm the sinks of complacency, greed, ignorance, and hate.

Our individual expressions come together in a collective display of what matters to us. When so many of our connections to people and places have been interrupted or broken, we send our creations into the world as proxies through which we can still convey meaning and participate in conversation. At the same time, we long for the togetherness of Wayfarers (, the cooperative studio program and gallery in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, that is responsible for bringing this group of artists into the same oxygenated orbit. As we prepare to bid it farewell with this final Member Exhibition before it closes its doors in December, we acknowledge the bittersweet reality that even things that can breathe must eventually die, but only after they have first lived.

Cranes in August

They clutter the house,
awkwardly folded, unable
to rise. My daughter makes
and makes them, having heard
the old story: what we create
may save us. I string
a long line of them over
the window. Outside
the gray doves bring
their one vowel to the air,
the same sound
from many throats, repeated.

-Kim Addonizio