On Nov. 5, 2009, Fletcher Dyer passed away in a fatal motorcycle crash. Dyer was a senior at ETSU, a graphic design major, an artist who, in his own words, dreamed of “making a difference” with his art.
“I might attempt to right political, social and religious wrongs by showing the rest of society a glimpse of how I feel about serious issues in the world,” he said. “Hopefully the awareness that I can help create will spark an interest in a movement that others will follow.”
Nine years later, his legacy lives on through the FL3TCH3R Exhibit, a collection of works submitted by artists around the world that address the most pressing social and political issues of the current time. The exhibit was created in 2013 by Dyer’s family: ETSU art professor Wayne Dyer, mother and attorney Barbara Dyer, and sister Carrie Dyer.
This year, the exhibit’s jurors, Larry Millard and Cheryl Goldsleger, chose from a pool of 376 entries to create a visually stunning, mind-probing display.
“It is a powerful exhibit,” says Randall Sanders, director of the Reece Museum. “It is a reflection of what we see on the weekly news.”
Each feature speaks a meaningful message through various artistic mediums. Everything from painting to sculpture to digital media is used as a forum for discussion. Each piece represents the artist’s view of the world we live in, forcing the audience to confront our most pressing issues head on.
For example, one work by Gary Zak titled “Let Us Prey” addresses scandal within the Catholic Church. Another, titled “Ableism: Housing Discrimination” by John O’Neil features the struggles of fostering equality when paired with disability.
These are just some examples of the provoking imagery at work in the exhibit. The room is bursting, charged with energy from the artwork inside.
“I think that the strength of art, of artists, is to reflect on the society they see around them,” said Sanders. “I would encourage people to view the exhibit and see for themselves.”
The FL3TCH3R Exhibit will be open in ETSU’s Reece Museum Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. until Dec. 14.