Seattle area artist Michele Rushworth has painted the official portraits of three former Wyoming Governors. Rushworth’s portraits were unveiled on October 3rd in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Her portraits of former Governor James Geringer, former Governor Michael Sullivan (who was also the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland) and former Governor Clifford Hansen (who was also a U.S. Senator) were unveiled in the Wyoming State Capitol building by current Governor Dave Freudenthal.
Rushworth wanted to capture the feeling of Wyoming in these paintings, and was delighted when Governor Geringer came to his portrait sitting wearing a Stetson hat, a leather vest and a bolo tie.
"I didn't want this to look like a portrait of a businessman from Connecticut, I wanted it to look like a Wyoming governor," said Rushworth. "He came to the sitting in what I imagine as the perfect Wyoming attire.”
The portraits were all favorably received by the subjects and project organizers.
“I was blown away…. I couldn’t be happier.” said Governor Michael Sullivan when he first saw his portrait.
Brad Mead, son of Governor Clifford J. Hansen said the portrait by Rushworth was, “Outstanding, unbelievable… it captured him [Governor Hansen] completely.” Governor Hansen was unable to attend the ceremony due to health concerns.
“A beautiful job, Michele,” said Governor Jim Geringer of his portrait, “It looks exactly like me.”
Liliane Francuz, Art Curator at the Wyoming State Museum was the liaison between the state and Rushworth for this project and said “The paintings look terrific!”
Rushworth also painted the official portraits of former Washington Governor Gary Locke which was unveiled in Olympia in 2004, the official portrait of Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn which was unveiled in 2007, and has also been selected to create the official portrait of United States Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen next year.