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Keystone’s Gesture Boosts Sculptor’s U.S. Tour

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July 27, 2011 by   Comments Off on Keystone’s Gesture Boosts Sculptor’s U.S. Tour

Sculptor Mike Jernigan's Outback trailer

When sculptor Mike Jernigan saw the MovOn.org headline “General Petraeus or General Betray US?” his blood began to boil, according to a press release. A Vietnam‐era vet himself, Jernigan felt the outrageous headline did a huge disservice to all military families past, present and future.

Never one to sit idly by, Jernigan decided he would do something about it. He would turn his artistic talents towards honoring the sacrifices the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans made for our freedoms. Jernigan would create bronze portrait sculptures of the actual men, women and K9 who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now four years later and following embedded tours with the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Jernigan is ready to begin the final leg of his mission. On July 29 he will set out from Keystone RV Co. headquarters in Goshen, Ind., in his Outback trailer/mobile studio – on loan from Keystone for two years – to complete the final, detail work on the 21 sculptures. Over the next 24 months the mobile studio will crisscross the country revisiting the military personnel Jernigan first photographed in the deserts and mountains of the Middle East.

“I’ll be doing one‐on‐one sittings with each of my subjects inside the Outback mobile studio,” comments Jernigan.

“The Outback is ideal. This model has a large ‘garage’ area up front where I have mounted a barber chair and other equipment. With the subject sitting in front of me I will add the final detail to the sculpture. By bringing my studio to the subject’s home, we can work in a relaxed environment and his or her family can watch and comment as I incorporate the unique features that turn art to life.”

Jernigan will complete approximately one sculpture per month and expects to have all 21 bronze sculptures on display in the fall of 2013. The exhibit will appear at West Point, Annapolis, Army War College, Naval War College, Vietnam Veterans Art Museum, The von Liebig Art Center, the Florida State Capitol, and possibly the Pentagon and the National Portrait Gallery. Once the exhibition tour is final, the bronze sculptures will be presented to each of the subjects.

Adds Jernigan, “As a Vietnam-era vet stationed in Japan, I am doing my part to help make certain our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are respectfully honored for the service they have provided our country.”

Keystone RV is a major sponsor of the Honoring the Troops Tour. Keystone President Bob Martin says that this is a cause every American can get behind. “The men and women in our armed services and their families have made huge sacrifices to help provide us with the freedoms we enjoy. The creation of these life‐like bronze sculptures will help us all remember what they have done for us.”

For more information on the Outback Honoring the Troops Mobile Studio, visit www.httms.com; for information on Outback RVs go to www.keystone‐outback.com.

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