William & Mary

Case Jernigan '08

Detail of Ark and the Swimmer. Quote: William and Mary taught me that passion and career are synonyms...

… I fought my artistic instincts throughout my college career. In a way, there were too many wonderful distractions. It wasn’t until my junior year, when I had my own space on the Andrews terrace, that I felt serious ownership over my work. I spent long afternoons in my space, reading about Leonardo, Degas, and Kokoschka. Apologies to the staff at Swem, as I smudged paint and charcoal on everything I checked out. Professor Barnes held court about painterly structure, Professor Kreydatus stressed discipline, and I began to realize that the life of an artist is a long journey, and I had barely begun. I returned to William & Mary this past year to speak to students about my work and about life as an emerging artist in New York. The students were just as bright, respectful and inquisitive as I remembered them always being. As I walked by the sundial that night, I felt a rush of nostalgia and gratitude."