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Slaughtered Deer on Display in Syracuse “Art” Exhibit

Photo by Greg Thompson/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Photo by Greg Thompson/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

It’s common for art galleries to receive a fresh coat of paint between one exhibit coming down and another being installed. Come October 20, the Syracuse University Art Galleries are going to need a hazmat-suit-requiring floor-to-ceiling deep cleaning to remove any and all traces of the Neanderthals who might have visited the place to see a repulsive and inanely titled show called Deer Dear. Drool will need to be removed from gallery walls and traces of human flesh will need to be peeled off floors on which visitors’ knuckles dragged.

Deer Dear is a collection of deer skins used as canvases and video-projection screens. The “artist” behind Deer Dear is a troglodytic mouth-breather named Tammy Renée Brackett, who chairs the digital media and animation department at the State University of New York’s Alfred State College. A description of Deer Dear on the Syracuse University Art Galleries website reads, in part: “Brackett’s recent work combines the digital and natural world to explore humans’ relationship with animals. … The exhibition focuses on the White Tailed Deer, posing questions about population control, loss of habitat, and mortality.”

Better — and less-insultingly — said, the “exhibit” celebrates mankind’s breathtaking arrogance. “Population control” — like “wildlife management” — is a euphemism for “sanctioned slaughter.” Deer Dear doesn’t pose “questions about population control, loss of habitat, and mortality.” Rather, it depicts the bloodlust and brutality that accompany the monstrous notion that man is entitled to hold dominion over other species.

If the “exhibit” raises any question, it is: What kind of rational and compassionate person would promote or be drawn to the work of terrorists?

The victims whose body parts are exploited in Deer Dear were cut down by motor vehicles and by hunters, including Brackett herself. According to an article published in The Syracuse Post-Standard, “One of her pieces of work, ‘Good Shot, Bad Shot,’ is simply two tanned hides given to her by hunter friends. … One shows a hole indicative of a heart shot in which the deer most likely died quickly. The other, a ‘gut shot’ further back on the hide, is indicative of a shot in which the deer died a longer, more painful death from the hunter’s bullet.”

Needless to say, the deer deserved better, in life and in death.

The mission of the Syracuse University Art Galleries “is to enhance the cultural environment of its community and surrounding area.”

Obviously, my idea of culture is quite different from that of David Lake Prince, the organization’s associate director and collections curator.

In a video on The Syracuse Post-Standard’s website, Prince says, “We hope that Tammy Brackett’s exhibition, Deer Dear, attracts a broad audience of both people that enjoy art and hunting.”

Clearly the evolved members of the Syracuse University community deserve better than to have their “cultural environment” enhanced by the public presentation of Brackett’s disgusting trophy collection.


  1. Mellie Harriss wrote:

    I challenge you to get to the “troglodytic mouth-breather” before name calling. She grew up on farms and spent much of her life as a vegetarian.She and her wife are heavily involved in animal rescue. A little background checking and fact finding is the norm for good and proper journalism. Neither of which I see here.

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink
  2. David Brensilver wrote:


    The fact that Tammy Brackett rescues some animals and guns others down hardly makes her an altruist. It make her an arrogant sadist.


    Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink
  3. Tara Carr wrote:

    Did someone force you to go see the exhibit?? I bet you went all on your own. If normal people don’t like something they just don’t participate, not assholes with a pen trying to find something to write about to get a paycheck hu?..

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink
  4. David Brensilver wrote:


    I’m neither “participating” nor being paid to express my views about the exhibit. I have not seen Deer Dear and will not under any circumstances.

    Moreover, I have no use for “normal people.”


    Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink
  5. Kim Glover wrote:

    Wow, your words are harsh and over the top. All that passion expressed surprises me, especially since you didn’t even experience the exhibit. Perhaps it’s time to adjust your meds?

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink
  6. Skeet Williams wrote:

    Any criticisms for the Syracuse University Football team for using Leather Footballs over the years? Animals were killed for those and the University has made tens of millions on the sport over the last 100 years.

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink
  7. gary wrote:

    animal rights people have no clue of what goes on in the real world of animals. its not all fuzzy and cute. in the future, do some research before you say stupid things like this article.

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink
  8. Dan Volk wrote:

    Agenda laden commentary is interesting and can foster healthy dialogue. Assuming intent without proper research or interpretation is representative of poor education and reminds me of extremists. Tammy is far more sensitive to the meaning of humanity and the repercussions of our behavior than the majority of Americans. If you own, drive or use a car, you have greater impact on the natural world than hunters in the woods. Hunters help counteract the affects of the modern world on the environment. There are many people who proactively help to manage and conserve our resources rather than judge. Emotional reaction and detachment are a very real problem in our society. Tammy brings reality back to a world that could stand to hear some truth.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 1:52 am | Permalink
  9. John wrote:

    Its always funny to me when I read the ramblings of some of these anti-hunter types. Its always the same misinformed nonsense full of insults toward anyone with a differing opinion. Rather than educate themselves to anything other than their very narrow views, they tend to show what kind of a person they really are with these types of rants. Typical of those who only claim to have an “open mind”.

    Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink
  10. Larry Blake wrote:

    One does not need an “open mind” to understand that people who enjoy killing are dirt.

    Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Permalink
  11. Jay wrote:

    It always amazes me when liberals attack… I was brought up to appreciate diversity, that everyone while an individual is still a human being.

    While I have to admit, the media she chooses to utilize her artwork is different, to call her a troglogyte mouthbreather because her views differ from yours is singleminded. You are doing EXACTLY what you claim to dislike about the opposite spectrum of yours… hypocrisy at its finest.

    Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink
  12. Val wrote:

    I am weary of people proclaiming that hunters are great “conservationists.” There certainly may be some that are, but according to my personal experiences and research, too many are recreational killers. I took the required hunting classes, got my hunting license and have spent many years out in the field during hunting seasons. I have attended many hunting organizations’ meetings,read hunters’ publications, forums and viewed their videos. While hunters love to brag that they help control deer populations, they demand that natural predators be killed so that animals such as coyotes won’t kill “their animals.” They even take part in coyote-killing contests despite the irony that such indiscriminate killing can actually result in larger coyote populations. Check out state wildlife agency websites and you will see that deer management permits are given out depending on whether they want to INCREASE or decrease deer numbers in certain areas. Wildlife populations are too often manipulated to (as they put it) “satisfy” hunters. Even a nearby state’s wildlife biologist has told how deer numbers have been managed to increase their numbers because hunters demand it. Pheasants are raised and then put out for hunters. Duck hunters still hunt ducks despite the studies that have revealed that huge numbers of ducks are wounded and lost each year. They can still shoot mergansers but warned not to eat the contaminated diving ducks. Bowhunters are continually advised to become expert at following bloodtrails. They are told to wait anywhere from half hour to overnight, depending on where the animal was impaled, before following the bloodtrail. Then there are the deer drives where one line of hunters at one end of an area line up, guns waiting, while another line of hunters make noise and drive the deer towards the armed line. I’ve been caught near such a drive and have seen the panicked deer running for their lives. Not good for animals that shouldn’t run off their needed fat reserves to survive the winter (if they escape being shot). The reality for me during hunting seasons is that I must once again go out and protect my acreage from trespassing hunters and put up signs they have destroyed. I won’t go to Tammy’s art show…it would remind me too much of the family of deer that used play and graze on my land that now are missing.

    Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 10:39 am | Permalink
  13. smile and nod! wrote:

    I can’t believe how arrogant the artists at Syracuse are. They think they are providing the public a service by showing this crap. What a waste of time. How one sided this is.

    Maybe in the future these idiots will realize that plants are living beings too. Our wholesale cultivation and annual slaughter of these viable, important, living beings is terrible. Based on the number of deaths alone, it may even be worse. I encourage everybody who is vegetarian and vegan to follow me to a less cruel path. A higher calling. We must not kill anything. Humans can create synthetic food without the need to kill any living organisms, we just need to demand that this is done. If you do not, then you are just as bad as those terrible hunters you criticize. You are killing with each and every meal.

    Please check out my website, for more information and how we can live a pacifistic life.

    Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink
  14. Bea Elliott wrote:

    One of the most twisted things about killing deer for population control is the fact that there are over 1500 deer and cervid farms in the US. These operate just like a standard “factory farm”. Does are artificially inseminated with “choice” buck sperm. Fawns are removed within hours and the “bottle fed” by humans. Almost tame buck and does are “retired” to national forests and “game preserves” – All for you guessed it: hunter’s “enjoyment”.

    Now my question is – Either there are too many deer so why are we breeding more? OR There aren’t that many deer so why are we killing them?

    Check out The North American Deer Farmers Association. Deer and elk are considered secondary “livestock” resources.

    I do happy dances for hunter accidents and back flips to hear of chronic wasting disease infections. May every tick in creation find a way into their hair and homes!

    Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

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