Last school year, Emma Dexter '21 applied for and received the second Fletcher Bright Fellowship for Artistic and Community Engagement. Named for one of the world’s great traditional old-time and bluegrass fiddlers, the late Fletcher Bright, his eponymous fellowship was founded by his daughter Lizzer Bright Graham ’77. She wanted to honor his legacy through a gift to Girls Preparatory School that would celebrate the arts.
The endowed program offers an annual award to a rising GPS senior who is selected through an extensive application and outside review. Emma expressed disappointment with the level of exposure and praise female artists received historically but has become incredibly excited by the strength of the female voice in art today. As the recipient of the fellowship, she has organized an exhibition of Chattanooga-area female artists of all ages, Modern Womxn, to showcase their works to the broader public and receive the exposure they deserve.
A pop-up show, Modern Womxn will display and sell the works of area female artists at the Association for Visual Arts, located at 30 Frazier Avenue in Chattanooga, November 7 and 8, from noon to 5 p.m.
“On a local scale, Chattanooga has been home to myriad remarkable women in history,” Emma says. “From Dr. Emma Rochelle Wheeler, the first African American woman to open a practice in the city, to Abby Crawford Milton, the first state president of the League of Women Voters and a lobbyist for women’s suffrage who was instrumental in securing votes for the 19th Amendment, our women, as well as those whose stories are untold, are an inspiration.”
Emma’s call for artist participation included, “As women, we must examine where we have been and where we are going. What stories of the modern woman can you, the artist, tell?”
The mission of the exhibition is to provide a platform for local female artists to showcase work that reflects the diverse story of womanhood. Featured artists include Kathleen Greeson, Ellie Swann, Ellie Sikes, Ava Echard, Sherry Collins Hogan, Lily DuPlooy, and Olive Smith.
Artists will be showing and selling a variety of works and media; the public is welcome to attend at no charge.