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Bryan Jernigan, 'Potential' Series at Gallery Underground

1. Waiting
Bryan Jernigan

The ‘All Member Show: Bodies of Work: Art in Series’ is now open at Gallery Underground and runs through April 26. There is an opening reception: Friday, April 4, 2014, 5 – 8 p.m.

“In the Main Gallery this month Gallery Underground features “Bodies of Work: Art in Series” an exhibit of works by the gallery’s 43 members. Each artist will display a group of works with a central theme, or series. A variety of media and styles are represented as artists pursue an idea; pushing it to see how far it’ll go, trying out variations to see where they’ll end up. Some series are unified by subtle color palette similarities, others by obvious subject matter.”

Gallery Underground

When you experience “group shows” like this, it is difficult to consume and appreciate individual artists without applying specific focus. Surely some artists stand out, but to appreciate what they have accomplished requires study. Here is an example.

Bryan Jernigan often paints landscapes, from barns to broad endeavors. He champions a very specific style and technique. A few years ago, his excellent work and skills were intentionally boxed in and fixed as he refined his technique and process. Next, there were bursts of breaking out as he accommodated greater abstraction and new subjects.

In this exhibit, Jernigan embraces humanity with his distinctive approach.


Potential confronts us every day. Who do we want to be? Where do we want to go? And how do we get there? Potential stares us in the face. On rare occasions we are keen enough to see it, but most of the time it’s fuzzy or lost to us completely.

Potential can be scary. The future is an unknown and dark place, but it’s also where potential lives. I see potential in myself and in others, but I don’t have superpowers, so it’s just as unclear to me as it is to anyone else.

In my work, I try to capture in figurative abstraction what potential looks like to me. So many times, it’s grainy, undeveloped and obfuscated. I can see the forms, but I can’t see them in sharp focus – they are often stark and intimidating – unrealized potential always is. But I’m convinced the more effort I give to it, the more I work on bringing clarity to it, the more likely potential will be realized.”

Bryan Jernigan

See the list of paintings from “Potential.”

Located in the Crystal City Shops @ 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202, this visual arts venue is sponsored by the Arlington Artists Alliance (AAA), in partnership with the Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID) and Vornado/Charles E. Smith to showcase the work of established and emerging regional artists. Over 40 artists exhibit paintings, drawings, sculpture, glass work, ceramics and jewelry.

1. Waiting
1. Waiting Bryan Jernigan

1. Waiting

Waiting, 11" x 14", acrylic mixed media on canvas, $175

While waiting, people become a part of the landscape. If one is waiting at a Metro stop, the environment is dark and nondescript. However, things are happening inside the mind, and non distinct noise abounds.

2. Road Ahead
2. Road Ahead Bryan Jernigan

2. Road Ahead

Road Ahead, 16" x 20", acrylic mixed media on canvas, $250.

It is straightforward. The vista for the future is wide open. It is an empty canvas. Once again, you may wonder what is going on in the mind of the person image. Is Jernigan just playing with the figure or what is he thinking?

3. There, Not There
3. There, Not There Bryan Jernigan

3. There, Not There

There, Not There, 11" x 14", acrylic mixed media on canvas, $175.

What does it mean to draw a face without a mouth?

"The emoji with no mouth means that you are silent or not saying a word. The zipped-lip emoji used to refer to the same but is now replaced by the one with no mouth."

4. Radiant Darkness
4. Radiant Darkness Bryan Jernigan

4. Radiant Darkness

Radiant Darkness, 11" x 14", acrylic mixed media on canvas, $175.

Often, painters see images that are dramatic and interesting. A camera could not hope to capture the texture, lighting, and feeling as well as a painting. Contrasts and reflective values construct this painting.

5. Seeing You Seeing Me
5. Seeing You Seeing Me Bryan Jernigan

5. Seeing You Seeing Me

Seeing You Seeing Me, 11" x 14", acrylic mixed media on canvas, $175.

Another artist often portrays people like this. She is Cherie Redlinger, a printmaker. What is the point of a pointy head? There is a lot of Gestalt going on here.