Guinn returns to Capitol for unveiling of portrait |

Guinn returns to Capitol for unveiling of portrait

Former Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn unveiled his official portrait during a reception held on Tuesday at the Capitol in Carson City. Cathleen Allison /Nevada Appeal

Kenny Guinn returned to the Nevada Capitol on Tuesday for the unveiling of his official portrait, which now graces the entrance.

“This reflects the eight years of wonderful service by Gov. Guinn,” said his successor Gov. Jim Gibbons.

“It was a great eight years for me and, I hope, the state of Nevada,” Guinn said.

But the tone didn’t stay serious.

“We haven’t had a good hanging in a long time,” said Gibbons. “I asked Kenny why none of the governors’ portraits are smiling. He said it has something to do with the tenor of the job.”

Guinn’s portrait, however, does have a hint of a smile.

“My goal was to show Gov. Guinn’s warmth and his strength and his relaxed, friendly manner in this portrait,” said artist Michele Rushworth of the oil painting.

She was selected by a committee, which included then first lady Dema Guinn. They reviewed works by a total of 39 applicants for the $20,000 contract.

More than 100 people, including all five of Guinn’s former chiefs of staff, legislative leaders and numerous agency heads, turned out for the unveiling.

The portrait is painted on a Belgian linen canvas using museum-quality materials. It is 50-by-32 inches, the same size as former gov. Bob Miller’s. The actual painting took about two months.

Portraits of all Nevada’s governors hang in the Capitol, commissioned as they prepare to leave office. The portraits missing from the building were those of acting governors Frank Bell, Denver Dickerson and Morley Griswold. They were commissioned by the 1979 Legislature and now hang in the building along with the others who have held that office.

Each new portrait is hung at the north side of the main entrance to the Capitol, moving each of the others back one space.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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