Portrait Unveiled for Indiana’s 49th Governor

INDIANAPOLIS (October 16, 2012) – First Lady Cheri Daniels and Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman unveiled the official portrait of Governor Mitch Daniels today during a ceremony in the Indiana State House. The portrait will become part of the governor’s portrait collection, which the Indiana State Museum maintains.
“I hope that long after anybody can name the person in this portrait, young people of today and those who were adults when it happened, will look back and say this was a time of action and turning a corner in Indiana,” said Daniels. “Where a lot of good people came to do the citizens’ job, a job once described as ‘the rent we owe this country.’ They weren’t on the make for anything else, they weren’t just here to touch up a resume or to prepare for the campaign for the next political office. They had no agenda but to build a much better and stronger state for the young people so soon to come after them. I’ll just recall what John Adams once wrote. He said ‘duty is ours, the results are up to God.’ I would like to think that we did our duty and I do believe God held up His end.”
Richard Halstead, a Lafayette native, was selected as the official portrait artist during a competitive process last year. Halstead said that as he prepared to paint the portrait he met with people who described the governor in diverse ways, from high energy to contemplative, preferring casualness, and an individual with unusual clarity of vision and purpose.
“The governor’s only request for the portrait was that it not be artificial or unnatural. And that was in keeping with comments I heard from others who emphasized his genuineness and authenticity. It seemed natural and appropriate that the portrait should be based on that particular foundation,” said Halstead. “From my interviews at the beginning all the way through to the finish, my image of the governor has grown in its complexity and my appreciation. I hope you see that in the portrait. I hope you and people in the future can see the lasting impact of Governor Daniels’ character on the history of this great state of Indiana.
Halstead’s studio is located in Evanston, Illinois, where he also teaches portraiture classes. He studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and then pursued independent studies at U.S. and European art museums. He has more than 30 years of experience and his work can be found in such locations as the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. Among his subjects are Marshall Field V, president of Field Enterprises; the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, archbishop of Chicago, and Jack Ragsdale, former president of the North American International Livestock Exposition.
Artists considered to paint the portrait were required to be a resident or native of Indiana and were asked to provide a resume that included such information as their portrait experience, art training and exhibitions as well as a statement about their approach to portrait painting. Halstead was selected after interviews with six finalists.
Private funds are used to pay for the cost of the portrait and for the maintenance of the governor’s portrait collection.
An image of the portrait may be found at this link:http://www.in.gov/gov/files/GOVDANIELSPORTRAIT.jpeg