Cynthia Connolly

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Cynthia Connolly
Cynthia Anne Connolly

Known forphotography, letterpress printing, art, curation
AwardsNational Endowment for the Arts grant, 2003, Vegetable Stand, Rural Studio, Alabama. National Endowment for the Arts grant, 2017, Arlington Art Truck, Arlington, Virginia.

Cynthia Connolly (born 1964) is an American photographer, curator, graphic designer, and artist. She graduated from Corcoran College of Art and Design[citation needed]and worked for Dischord Records and d.c. space. In 1988 she published Banned in DC: Photos and Anecdotes From the DC Punk Underground (79–85)[citation needed]through her small press Sun Dog Propaganda. The book was compiled with Sharon Cheslow and Leslie Clague, and it documented the early hardcore punk scene in Washington, DC which included such bands as Bad Brains and Minor Threat.

Since the mid-1990s, she has exhibited her photography of musicians, landscapes, and found objects. Cynthia traveled the world arranging her exhibits in art galleries, and ad hoc art spaces such as abandoned warehouses, squats, bars, peoples apartments and homes, etc. and self promoted her own work by letterpressing her own promotional posters and postcards. While traveling with her exhibits, she would sell her self-published postcards and books. Her photographic work, postcards and books were exhibited in Beautiful Losers which toured in the United States and Europe from 2004–2009 and was reviewed in Art in America in January 2005.[citation needed] In 2002 she became a participant of the Rural Studio Program of Auburn University, Newbern, Alabama[citation needed]where she won a National Endowment for the Arts Grant with the Alabama State Council on the Arts[citation needed] to build a vegetable stand utilizing an art medium called "hogwire" by Alabama folk artist, Butch Anthony, as gates for the stand, and incorporating art by other Alabama artists in the project. She published her photographs in The Rural Studio Bonus Album[citation needed]and exhibited her extensive collection of photographic work from Alabama in four main solo exhibitions as well as other group shows in subsequent years. Her photography is also in Lee Ranaldo's book Lengths and Breaths[citation needed] as well as many others mentioned below.

One of Cynthia Connolly's most well known works, ironically, is one of her first works of commercial art. It is the image drawn for the band Minor Threat, in 1983, when she was 19 years old, for the 12" LP entitled, "Out of Step" on Dischord Records.[citation needed] This drawing, showing a black sheep with his eyes wide open, drawn in crayon, leaping away from a group of white sheep rendered in watercolor is used, particularly the black sheep, as tattoo art for many around the world and represents an entire movement and idea from a generation of people who find the band Minor Threat and that entire hardcore (music) movement influential in their lives. Many of the artists in the "Beautiful Losers' exhibit were influenced by the work and music, and the record album was exhibited in this show.

Cynthia Connolly continues to exhibit her photography, create ephemeral objects using her letterpress and photographs, and is Special Projects Curator for Arlington County, Virginia.



1. Andersen, Mark; Jenkins, Mark (2001), Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capitol, New York, NY: Akashic Books, ISBN 1-888451-44-0, archived from the original on 2012-09-22.

2. Augenstein, Neal (April 5, 2018), "From Dischord Records to Art Truck, Arlington hones cutting-edge arts trek", WTOP Radio.

3. Azerrad, Michael (2001), Our Band Could Be Your Life, Little, Brown, ISBN 0-316-06379-7.

4. Capps, Kriston (January 8, 2015), "An Artist Finds a Little Bit of Los Angeles Everywhere", Citylab.

5. Connolly, Cynthia; Clague, Leslie; Cheslow, Sharon (1988), Banned in DC: Photos and Anecdotes From the DC Punk Underground, Sun Dog Propaganda, ISBN 978-0-9620944-0-8.

6. Connolly, Cynthia (2004), The Rural Studio Bonus Album, Sun Dog Propaganda, ISBN 0-9620944-1-2.

7. Dawson, Jessica (April 21, 2005), "Cynthia Connolly's Down-Home Photo Album", Washington Post.

8. Estes, Lindley (May 2018), "Arlington Art Truck", Whurk Magazine.

9. Gastman, Roger (2003), Morning Wood, Ginkgo Press, ISBN 1-58423-159-9.

10. Hannon, Sharon M. (2010), Punks : A Guide to American Subculture, Greenwood Press, ISBN 978-0-313-36456-3.

11. Heckler Magazine Editors (2001), Declaration of Independents:Snowboarding, Skateboarding and Music: An Intersection of Cultures, Chronicle Books, ISBN 0-8118-2997-9.

12. Jenkins, Mark (May 31, 2012), "At Civilian Arts Projects Show Signposts to Urbanity's Beauty", Washington Post.

13. Klein, Melissa (1997), "Duality and Redefinition: Young Feminism and the Alternative Music Community", in Heywood, Leslie; Drake, Jennifer (eds.), Third Wave Agenda, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, ISBN 978-0-8166-3005-9.

14. Maffeo, Lois (May 6–12, 1999), "Shooting Rock: Cynthia Connolly's Punk Photography", The Stranger.

15. Ranaldo, Lee (2004), Lengths and Breaths, Water Row Press, ISBN 978-0-934953-79-5.

16. Nederostek, Nathan (2008), Radio Silence/A Selected Visual History of American Hardcore Music, MTV Press, ISBN 978-1-57687-472-1.

17. Rose, Aaron (2005), Young, Sleek and Full of Hell, Drago, ISBN 88-88493-32-8.

18. Rose, Aaron; Strike, Christian, eds. (2004), Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture, Iconoclast/Distributed Art Publishers, ISBN 978-1-933045-30-6. 19. Safavi, Charlotte (September 9, 2013), "Snapshots in Time", Arlington Magazine.

19. Shott, Chris (August 11, 2006), "Banned on Its Last Run? Classic punk tome might leave store shelves for good", Washington City Paper, archived from the original on August 22, 2006 .

21. Wartofsky, Alona (December 27, 2018), "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Punk (cover article) // Ever Evolving Art of Cynthia Connolly", Washington City Paper.

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