Charlyn Reynolds is a sculptor and installation artist who received her BFA in 2011 at Illinois State University in glass, under the instruction of John Miller. After graduating from ISU, she was hired by the Toledo Museum of Art as a studio technician and pate de verre instructor. Concurrently, she worked for the Corning Museum of Glass performing live glass blowing demonstrations on Celebrity Cruise Lines while educating the public about glass as an artistic medium. In between working, she has developed her skills further by taking intensive classes at many craft schools from world renowned artists such as Kimiake and Shin-ichi Higuchi as well as Martin Janecky. She was able to expand her glass sculpting skills during the two-month class with Janecky and later worked for him at his studio in Fairbanks, Alaska. In 2019, Charlyn received her MFA in Intermdia/Glass from the University of Texas at Arlington. She now resides in Miami, Florida, working as a gaffer for Fine Art Handcrafted Lighting and continues to make her own artwork.
Reynolds’ recent exhibitions include two solo exhibitions: The Amber Grotto in Dallas, TX and Cutesies in Cincinnati, OH. She also exhibited in the second showing of Texas Contemporary Glass, at Artspace in Shreveport, LA: curated by Eric Hess.
Her past artist-in-residencies include Neusole Glassworks in Cincinnati, OH, Studio Kura in Fukuoka, Japan, Gent Glas in Ghent, Belgium, The Melting Point in Sedona, AZ, and Circle 6 Studios in Phoenix, AZ.
The work that I create stems from the absurdity of my childhood. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, however, behind my house was a fantastical grotto that housed an assortment of exotic pets and within the house, my bedroom, covered from floor to ceiling in Tweety Birds. I woke up to an adventure everyday beginning with an overstimulating sea of yellow and hundreds of blue eyes staring back at me.
This room has always felt unique and comforting to me, as I have collected these plush characters since I was a child. However, to those outside of my family, this bedroom is over whelming and unnerving. This is the experience that I want my viewers to feel as they view my art installations.
I create colorful fantastical creatures out of glass. These creatures are my own mythological hybrids that I have created by seamlessly blending one animal into another to create a unique beast that has never been seen before. Some of the creatures are combinations of a gorilla and a spider, a cheetah and a falcon, an elephant and a manta ray, amongst many more. I use glass, which is a molten material that stretches and moves like that of an animal’s skin, to bring these creatures to life while hot. Animals can be dangerous, they can sting and bite; one might not want to get too close to a giant spider, just like you cannot get too close to molten glass. Once the material cools, I literally freeze the creature, allowing the viewer a unique experience to come up close and see the details of my unique beasts.
These animals live in a toxic environment caked in shiny amber and gold. Every surface of their world is glimmering in a synthetic way. The floor is coated in precious faux-amber jewels and the walls, foliage, and rocks are coated in gold paint. I desire my viewers to find pleasure in my ridiculous creatures, while simultaneously be surprised by their environment.