I believe in absolute freedom of expression,” author, poet and feminist Taslima Nasrin has said. “Everyone has a right to offend and be offended.”
The need and freedom to express the full spectrum of emotions and concerns through visual arts is the bedrock of the annual “FL3TCH3R Exhibit: Social & Politically Engaged Art,” an international juried exhibit, at East Tennessee State University’s Reece Museum. This year’s exhibit runs through Friday, Dec. 13.
Richard Graves received the“Reece Museum Award” for his “Dr. Ford”
Artistic expressions for the exhibition were considered from 27 states – from Tennessee to Texas and California to Florida – and seven countries, in addition to the U.S. Entries numbered 325 from 116 artists. Categories included fiber, jewelry/metals, painting, photography, digital, sculpture, printmaking, video, graphic design, ceramics and 2D and 3D mixed media. Eighty-two works of 62 artists were accepted, juried by activist and illustrator Sue Coe.
While global issues are reflected in the seventh annual “FL3TCH3R Exhibit,” domestic strife this year is at the forefront of the entering artists’ minds. “We have received more work that shows the frustration that artists and individuals feel regarding the current U.S. administration and political demeanor,” says co-director Wayne Dyer, an ETSU art & design professor. “We anticipated in years past that we would see this, however, it has blossomed this year. Issues include environment, social justice, abuse, racism, political issues, women's issues, gun violence, children's issues, immigration and the list goes on.”
The exhibit continues to expand each year, with more than $1,000 in awards in 2019, in addition to the Fletcher H. Dyer Scholarship for an ETSU Art & Design student – and the scope of the exhibit broadens each year topically and geographically.
For more information about Fletcher Dyer, visithttp://fletcherdyer.com/about.html. For more information about the exhibit, visithttp://www.FL3TCH3Rexhibit.comand for Reece Museum, visitwww.etsu.edu/reeceor call 423-439-4392.
For more information on Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, visitwww.etsu.edu/martinor call 423-439- 8587.For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.