Portrait for Governor Lincoln Almond

The official portrait, as seen in the artists' studio The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts managed the process of commissioning the official state portrait of Governor Lincoln Almond. State law requires that a portrait of the governor be commissioned and presented to the State by the time the governor leaves office. The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts assisted the governor in issuing a "call for artists", managing the review and selection process, and working with the Governor's Office and the artist during the period the portrait was being created. The artist chosen to paint Governor Almond's portrait was Georgianna Aaronson of Framingham, Massachusetts. It was unveiled on Monday, January 6, 2003 in a State House ceremony.

A press release announcing the call for artists was issued in October 2001, with a deadline of November 5, 2001. It said, in part:

Secretary of State Edward S. Inman, III announced today a call for artists interested in painting the official state portrait of Governor Lincoln Almond. State law requires that a portrait of Governor Almond be commissioned and presented to the State by the time the governor leaves office in January 2003. The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts will assist the Governor in choosing a portrait artist.

"Commissioning a portrait of Governor Almond is an important event in the life of Rhode Island," said Randall Rosenbaum, director of the State Council on the Arts. "Art is the way society preserves its history. Great art tells a great story, and walking through the halls of the state house, you experience the history of Rhode Island."

Under the process developed by the Secretary of State’s office, a panel consisting of representatives from the arts community, the Governor’s Office, the Secretary of State’s office and the Historic Preservation Commission will select up to ten finalists to present to the Governor for his review. The Governor will choose a portrait artist from among the finalists, or he may ask the panel for additional choices. The artist chosen by the Governor will then be commissioned to produce an official portrait.

Governor and artist in the artists' studioThe portrait will be created in cooperation with the Governor and the Rhode Island Historical and Preservation Commission, which is the caretaker of the portraits of past Rhode Island Governors on display at the State House. The finished portrait must be completed and turned over to the State by January 2003, at the conclusion of Governor Almond’s final term of office.

Artists interested in being considered for the commission should contact the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts or visit its web site for an application form. Artists will be asked to submit a resume and no less than five and no more than ten 35mm slides of previously commissioned work. Interested artists have until Monday, November 5 to submit samples of their work to the State Council on the Arts.

Twenty-six artists submitted applications. The Governor and Mrs. Almond chose Georgianna Aaronson from among the three finalists chosen by the selection committee organized by the State Arts Council.