Best in Show “San Antonio Rose (The Bandit Queen)” by Jessica Burke, photo via FL3TCH3R Exhibit catalog.

This year marks the fifth annual juried FL3TCH3R Exhibit at East Tennessee State University that focuses on social and political art. The goal is to allow students, professors, members of the community and anyone internationally to voice their social and political points of view through the expression of art. All proceeds, after the expenses of the exhibit, will fund the Fletcher H. Dyer Memorial Scholarship for an ETSU art and design student.

The FL3TCH3R Exhibit is dedicated to Fletcher Hancock Dyer, who was a senior at ETSU pursuing a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design.

Fletcher lost his life at age 22 in a motorcycle accident in Johnson City in 2009. The exhibit was later established to honor Fletcher’s legacy by providing a venue for artists to exhibit their work of social and political commentary.

“I dream of making a difference in some way with my art,” Fletcher wrote. “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… Hopefully the awareness that I can help create will spark an interest in a movement that others will follow.”

Best in Show “Lil’ Red and Coyote” by Jessica Burke, photo via FL3TCH3R Exhibit catalog.

Milligan students who take design classes such as Graphic Design I and Publication Design are required to attend Milligan art events as well as the FL3TCH3R Exhibit.

“I want (Milligan) students to attend the FL3TCH3R Exhibit,” Graphic Design Professor Art Brown said. “I know that they might not necessarily agree with the political or social view, but I want them to talk about what the artist’s view is and how successful they were in communicating that view in their work.”

Dr. Anita Kunz, the international renowned illustrator and artist who juried the show, stated, “This type of show is always tremendously difficult to judge. The themes are profound and speak to not only politics but also the human condition, so judging can be an emotional experience.”

“Nightmare Dressed as a daydream” by Jessica Burke. Photo via FL3TCH3R Exhibit catalog

Jessica Burke from Statesboro, Ga., won Best in Show with her 30”x20” dressed-up skeletons titled “Lil’ Red and Coyote” and “San Antonio Rose (The Bandit Queen).”

“Death is our silent companion through life,” Burke wrote. “It is our witness to childhood fantasies and adult realities. This collection of drawings investigates the fiction of identity through its performance in physical and cerebral spaces that demonstrate a willingness to protect and construct meaning.”

The FL3TCH3R Exhibit at ETSU is displayed from Oct. 9 to Dec. 15 and is open to anyone at the Reece Museum, located at 363 Stout Drive, Johnson City, and open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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