• Visitors view artwork in the Popcorn Gallery


    The Popcorn Gallery showcases the work of established visual artists, including resident artists at Glen Echo Park, as well as artists from the greater Washington, D.C. area. Popcorn Gallery exhibitions attract visitors from across the region and bring new audiences to Glen Echo Park. This gallery presents group exhibitions or occasional solo exhibitions of established artists.

    Gallery Hours

    Saturday & Sunday  |  12pm to 6pm


  • J. Jordan Bruns

  • J. Jordan Bruns

  • J. Jordan Bruns


J. Jordan Bruns
Playing with Reality: 15 Years at Glen Echo Park  |  February 25 - March 26, 2023

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 1, 6 - 8 pm

The Popcorn Gallery is proud to present Playing with Reality: 15 Years at Glen Echo Park a solo exhibition by Glen Echo Park Resident Artist J. Jordan Bruns. Bruns has been creating a wide range of paintings in the Stone Tower Studio since joining the Park 15 years ago. He is known for his large-scale abstractions depicting themes of order vs. chaos. This retrospective show celebrates his range as an artist, featuring a stunning collection of paintings with varying degrees of realism. From portraits and landscapes that evoke mood and personality to still life paintings that border on "trompe l'oeil" realism, utilizing expert oil painting techniques, demonstrating the breadth of his artistic output.

Artist Biography
J. Jordan Bruns is a full-time artist living and working in Maryland and a Glen Echo Park resident artist working in the Chautauqua Tower. He recently returned from a three-year sabbatical in Tokyo, Japan (2018-2021) where much of his current aesthetic influences stem from. In 2004, he received BFAs in Painting and Illustration at Maryland Institute College of Art. He then went on to earn an MFA in Studio Painting at Indiana University in 2007. After grad school, he instructed at and managed the Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery, at Glen Echo Park in Maryland. His love of teaching has led him to branch out and become Director of Art Clinic, a painting and drawing school at Glen Echo Park in 2022. His work is in the public collections of Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Kaiser Permanente. Solo exhibitions include Long View Gallery (Washington, DC) and The Indiana University Art Museum (Bloomington, Indiana). His numerous group shows include Transient Geometries at The Antelope Valley College Art Gallery (Lancaster, California) and Color Schooled (Long View Gallery, Washington, DC). His work has also been exhibited in Scope Miami in 2014, Context Miami in 2017 and 2018, as well as Aqua Miami in 2019 during Art Basel.

Artist Statement 
Paintings featured in this exhibition vary in their degree of realism.  The abstract paintings have an incredibly loose grasp on realism as the dimensions created defy gravity and laws of nature.  The portraits and landscapes are more loosely representational, creating mood and personality through their respective mediums.  The still life paintings are high realism, bordering “trompe l'oeil”, using oil painting techniques.  

My portraits are created in the alla prima style in which one quick sitting completes the image.  This work challenges the painter to be intentional in the use of the paint in order to quickly render a realistic scene without editing.  

The ink washes depict landscapes where the focal point is painted with careful detail while other areas are bathed in what I consider “atmosphere” and only suggested.  In this way, the ink washes are reminiscent of a faded photograph or a vivid memory.

The still life paintings are uniquely attached to the subject matter the artist is observing to make the painting in a sort of diorama.  The palette that was used to mix the paint is also attached, altogether making these works “assemblages”.  I hope to show the viewer the subject, the painting, and the deconstructed painting (the pallet) all in one piece to demonstrate the artistic process more fully. Viewers of art typically only see the final product.  Observational painters often benefit from the subject matter never being seen by their audience, allowing the viewer to fill in the gaps with their imaginations where the painter didn’t give all the information.  Yet when the subject is exhibited alongside the painting, the expectations for the painting change.  The art becomes about the painter’s ability and skill to interpret the subject rather than the actual completed painting.


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