At Mint Hill Arts’ July Demonstration/Lecture, Charlotte courtroom sketch artist Jerry McJunkins will share his knowledge of sketching and his stories of famous and notorious people. McJunkins has been a professional courtroom sketch artist for almost 30 years and has worked as both a contracted and freelance artist for ABC, CNN, NBC, and other news outlets. His lecture is free and open to the public and artists and non-artists alike are invited to hear McJunkins describe his fascinating experiences.
McJunkins grew up near Third Ward in sight of the Courthouse. He drew as a young child, developed his skills through high school, and earned a degree in illustration at Central Piedmont Community College in 1968. In the 1970’s, he sold quick sketches of visitors at Carowinds and at shopping malls for five dollars apiece. The following is his description of how his career changed from sketch artist to courtroom sketch artist. One day, McJunkins says, he got a call from the producer at WCCB-TV who asked if he would bring his sketchpad to the WCCB-TV offices. When McJunkins arrived, the producer told him, “Sketch that guy across the office,” and when he was finished said, “Okay, how about we pick you up in the morning?” Since that time McJunkins estimates he’s done more than 1,500 courtroom sketches. He is also a portrait and special events artist and teaches art in his studio.
County and Federal Courthouses in Charlotte host a gallery of his work with additional sketches inside the jury rooms and judges’ chambers. McJunkins says he is honored to have his work in several other courthouses across North Carolina. His sketches include Michael Jordan on the witness stand, as well as Fort Bragg triple murderer Timothy Hennis, convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, and even Barney the purple dinosaur.
The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23, at the Mint Hill Arts Gallery at 11205 Lawyers Road in Mint Hill. Mark your calendars to attend.