Gov. Chris Gregoire unveils official portrait by local artist
January 15, 2013
NEW — 8 a.m. Jan. 15, 2013
Outgoing Gov. Chris Gregoire unveiled her official portrait — a 44-inch by 30-inch piece by a local artist — Jan. 11, days before she hands the reigns to Gov.-elect Jay Inslee.
Joined by family and friends at the state Capitol in Olympia, Gregoire unveiled the portrait by Michele Rushworth, a Sammamish artist known for creating portraits of leaders in government, academia, business and sports.
“To have my portrait displayed among our state’s past governors is a tremendous honor,” Gregoire said in a statement. “If only my Mom could have been here to see this today. Here I am, the daughter of a short order cook from Auburn, and the first in my family to go to college. And now my portrait will be hanging in the office of the governor of Washington, alongside those who came before. I am truly humbled.”
Rushworth included 22 challenge coins from law enforcement, fire and military agencies. The coins symbolize Gregoire as the state’s 22nd governor.
The topmost coin is from the Washington State Patrol, and is meant to reflect Gregoire’s gratitude for how troopers protected the governor and her family during her tenure. (Gregoire’s last day in office is Wednesday.)
In the background is the state Temple of Justice — a reminder of Gregoire’s law career and tenure as the first woman elected to serve as state attorney general.
Before serving as attorney general, Gregoire led the state Department of Ecology.
Rushworth also painted official portraits of former Gov. Gary Locke, initially for Locke’s term as governor and then his official portrait as U.S. secretary of commerce. Locke now serves as the U.S. ambassador to China.
The artist’s other subjects include Admiral Thad Allen, former U.S. Coast Guard commandant, past governors of Nevada and Wyoming, and Seattle Mariners great Edgar Martinez.