Watwood selected to paint Statehouse portrait of Raimondo

PROVIDENCE – Patricia Watwood, a Brooklyn, N.Y., resident and artist, has been selected by Gina M. Raimondo, former Rhode Island governor and current U.S. commerce secretary, to paint Raimondo’s official gubernatorial portrait to be hung at the R.I. Statehouse.

Per Rhode Island law, an official portrait must be commissioned for each governor by the R.I. Office of the Secretary of State, the R.I. State Council on the Arts said. RISCA said Watwood was chosen from a field of 350 applicants to paint Raimondo’s portrait.

RISCA also said Watwood was previously commissioned to paint two mayoral portraits in St. Louis, as well as two historical portraits of pioneering women, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and Ida B. Wells, both in the collection of the Harvard Art Museums.

“It is a great honor to be selected to portray Rhode Island’s first woman governor,” Watwood said in a statement. “In creating this work of art for the Statehouse, I look forward to celebrating her inspiring service, and show young women, girls and the people of Rhode Island that there is a place in leadership at the highest level for all of us.”

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James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.