PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — U.S. Commerce Secretary and former Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo returned to the Ocean State Thursday for the unveiling of her official gubernatorial portrait.
Raimondo was elected as Rhode Island’s first female governor back in November 2014. She served as the state’s 75th governor for six years before resigning in 2021 to join the Biden administration.
“It’s very special to be the first woman to have a portrait hanging in the State House,” Raimondo said. “I think that is an important message to all of the girls of Rhode Island that they can be whatever they want to be.”
The portrait was painted by artist Patricia Watwood, who received a $50,000 commission from the state for her work.
Raimondo chose a unique backdrop for her portrait that she hopes highlights everything the Ocean State has to offer.
“I purposefully chose to be in front of a Rhode Island beach,” Raimondo explained. “I love Rhode Island beaches, and we are the Ocean State.”
“I hope this [portrait] reflects the change I tried to bring about,” she added.
Raimondo’s portrait will be on display inside the Rhode Island State House next to other paintings of the state’s other former governors, including Lincoln Chafee, Don Carcieri and Lincoln Almond.