Tex Jernigan came to Kansas City in 2003 from Dallas, Texas. He has been drawing all of his life. Enrolling in sculpture at the Kansas City Art Institute was a radical shift, but his sculptures remain reminiscent of his drawings; they both have a single desired orientation.
In Jernigan’s signature style, his work when viewed from most angles looks chaotic, but when viewed from a certain, optimal perspective, manifests a perfect sense of organization. “Sentinel” is oriented to offer this perfect perspective as one drives towards City Hall. “Sentinel” appears as an aggressive behemoth watching and guarding. A sentinel is a watcher but as a sculpture it is something that is being watched. As you look down the barrel of the entire piece and see the sky behind, you no longer see the wild twisting and flailing but instead a burst radiating from a center point. Its form is dictated by this view.
This work of art along with Hoffman’s “Anagenisi apo Koinonia” was originally part of the Leawood Art on Loan program. At the time of installation Jernigan was a senior at the Kansas City Art Institute. As
with “Anagenisi apo Koinonia”, “The Sentinel” was a cooperative effort between APPI and the Kansas City Art Institute Sculpture Department Chair, Michael Wickerson. Following the loan period, during which the piece was highly acclaimed, it was purchased by the City.