Michele Rushworths three Wyoming Governors portraits were unveiled on
October 3rd in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Her official portraits of former Governor James
Geringer, former Governor Michael Sullivan (who was also Ambassador to Ireland)
and former Governor Clifford Hansen (who was also a U.S. Senator) were unveiled
in the State Capitol building by current Governor Dave Freudenthal.
Rushworth with Governor Geringer and Governor Sullivan. (Governor Hansen
is currently 95 years of age and was
unable to attend the ceremony due to health reasons.)
Some comments about the portraits:
I was blown away
. I couldnt be happier. Governor
it captured him completely.
Brad Mead, son of Governor Clifford J. Hansen
A beautiful job, Michele. Governor James Geringer
The paintings look terrific! Liliane Francuz, Art Curator,
Wyoming State Museum
Jackson Hole Star Tribune
Tradition of hanging former governors' portraits in state capitol rotunda
By JARED MILLER
Star-Tribune capital bureau
CHEYENNE -- When former Wyoming Gov. Jim Geringer arrived for his official portrait
sitting, he was carrying one of his best suits -- but he secretly hoped the artist
would let him wear what he had on: his trademark vest, cowboy hat and bolo tie.
The artist, Michele Rushworth of Sammamish, Wash., was more than accommodating.
"I didn't want this to look like a portrait of a businessman from Connecticut,
I wanted this to look like a Wyoming governor," said Rushworth, who insisted
Geringer stay true to his western roots for the portrait.
"He came to the sitting in what I imagine as the perfect Wyoming governor
clothing attire," Rushworth added.
On Friday, Geringer joined former Gov. Mike Sullivan and the families of three
other former Wyoming governors in the state capitol rotunda for the unveiling
of five official gubernatorial portraits.
Such portraits were a tradition in Wyoming until the late 1980s, when tight state
budgets and confusion over who was supposed to pay for the portraits ended the
Last year, the state Legislature appropriated funds to resume the practice, and
to commission the portraits that were neglected during the lapse. The likenesses
of 14 former governors will be painted over the course of the coming years, in
Future governors, including Gov. Dave Freudenthal, will sit for portraits as
they leave office, said state Sen. Jayne Mockler, D-Cheyenne, who helped coordinate
A few dozen former first-family members and current elected and appointed state
officials also attended Friday's ceremony. Geringer and Sullivan both said they
were grateful to be memorialized and pleased with their portraits.
"It looks like me, so I don't know if that's good or not," joked Geringer,
who served as governor from 1995 to 2003, and now works from his home in Wheatland
for a California-based technology company.
"It's nice to know that some years down the road, when your children or
grandchildren have the need to know what you looked like in this stage of your
life, they can come and view a professionally done portrait," added Sullivan,
who served from 1987 to 1995 and today is an attorney in Casper.
Former Gov. Clifford Hansen, who served as governor from 1963 to 1967 and retired
to Teton County, could not attend the ceremony. His grandson, former U.S. Attorney
Matt Mead, read a speech prepared by Hansen.
Also unveiled Friday were portraits of late Govs. J.J. "Joe" Hickey,
who served from 1959 to 1961, and Stanley K. Hathaway, who served from 1967 to
1975. Members of their families were on hand for the unveiling.
Artist Rushworth pained the portraits of Geringer, Sullivan and Hansen. Salt
Lake City artist Galina Perova painted the portraits of Hickey and Hathaway.
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