As the nation continues to grapple with complex social and political issues, the ninth annual “FL3TCH3R: Social and Politically Engaged Art” exhibition is devoted to the protection of voting rights. The exhibit is on display at the Reece Museum at East Tennessee State University until December 10.

The exhibition “FL3TCH3R” was created in 2013 in memory of Fletcher H. Dyer. Fletcher, 22, had a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from ETSU and was concentrating on graphic design when he got lost too early in a motorcycle accident in 2009. His parents, the professor emeritus of the ETSU Department of Art and Design, Mr. Wayne Dyer, and lawyer Barbara H. Dyer. , and her sister, graphic designer Carrie A. Dyer, are co-directors.

The family said the exhibit appropriately honors Fletcher’s legacy.

“The FL3TCH3R exhibit supports diverse communities and their voting rights,” they wrote. “We are concerned that not everyone has equal access to have their voices heard. Why not make voting more accessible to everyone?

This year’s exhibit features the largest number of works in “FL3TCH3R” history, according to the museum.

“Although each year features new works by different artists, this year’s exhibition is unique, as it features the largest number of works ever assembled in a single ‘FL3TCH3R’ exhibition, with 109 works,” Spenser said. Brenner, museum exhibition coordinator.

The exhibition, which contains a variety of art forms ranging from painting to sculpture, includes artists from Iran, Ireland, Poland, Turkey and 21 US states. The exhibition is co-sponsored by the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts at ETSU.

“The FL3TCH3R exhibition never fails to showcase the thoughts, ideas and issues that preoccupy artists,” said Rebecca Proffitt, Acting Director of the museum. “This year is no different, and the passion of these artists is evident in the work.”

Michael Ray Charles, internationally renowned artist and professor at the School of Art at the University of Houston, plays an important role in this year’s exhibition. As the exhibition juror, Charles reviewed all entries, selecting all 109 works for the 2021 “FL3TCH3R” exhibition.

“The exhibition consists of a range of styles and incorporates traditional and non-traditional materials and disciplines,” Charles said. “This group of artists have developed striking combinations of realism and abstraction that produce visual sensations of everyday life that provoke reflection in the minds of viewers.”

The Dyer family were delighted that Charles had accepted their invitation.

“Michael Ray Charles is a fierce artist,” said Wayne Dyer. “His work addresses the most important issues of our time when the stories of our country collide with consequences. He highlights the importance of diversity, perspective, social practice and the formation of important perspectives through his work.

Carrie A. Dyer, associate professor of graphic design at High Point University, added, “Fletcher believed in eliminating racist structures in our culture. We are honored that Michael Ray Charles is collaborating with us as this year’s juror. Fletcher would be so proud.

At 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 4, at the museum, Charles will present a jury conference. An awards ceremony begins at 6 p.m., followed by a reception. The public is invited to the event in person, and staff will provide a Zoom link to the museum’s website to anyone participating virtually. Masks will be mandatory during the indoor event.

“National and global social landscapes continue to be endless sources of inspiration for artists,” said Charles. “As you know, as soon as an object begins to function as art, it can potentially change society for better or for worse.”

Each year, the “FL3TCH3R” exhibition arouses the interest of artists from all over the world.

“In the beginning, we envisioned the exhibition as a national visual arts exhibition,” said Barbara H. Dyer. “However, in the first year submissions, we received submissions from Canada, so we called the exhibit a multinational exhibit. By the second year, we were receiving submissions from several countries around the world and it became an international exhibition that continues today.

According to Brenner, the exhibition gives back to politically and socially engaged artists with $ 2,500 in prizes. In addition, an ETSU art and design student receives the Fletcher H. Dyer Fellowship each year.

For more information on Fletcher Dyer, visit fletcherdyer.com/about.html. For more information about the exhibition, visit www.FL3TCH3Rexhibit.com. Call the museum, located at 363 Stout Drive, 423-439-4392 or visit www.etsu.edu/reece for more information.

For disabled accommodations, call the ETSU Disability Services Office at 423-439-8346.

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