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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson reveals his official portrait

Josie Lenora
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and members of his family stand next to his new official portrait, painted by artist Michael Deas.

On Tuesday, outgoing Gov. Asa Hutchinson revealed his official portrait at the Arkansas State Capitol.

The governor's daughter Sarah Hutchinson Wengel and granddaughter Ella Beth pulled the black covering off the portrait. The governor is painted in a standing position leaning slightly on a chair, hands folded, standing in front of the Arkansas and American flags.

The artist, Michael Deas, has painted several presidential portraits and the iconic Columbia Pictures logo. He met with Hutchinson several times and based the painting on posed photographs. Hutchinson said he worked on the painting for over a year, at one point making alterations to make his hands look smaller.

Hutchinson said it was important for him to be standing in the photo.

“I wanted to reflect certain characteristics of me,” he said. “We hit the ground running. Our eight years in this administration was busy. It was active. It was a time of action.”

He went on to explain that he wanted the painting to convey a tone of contemplation and steadiness. It was also important, Hutchinson said, to show off his cufflinks which are large and white in the portrait.

“There is a little bit of a glimpse of a smile there,” Hutchinson said. “And that reflects the hope I have for this state.”

The portrait was funded by leftover inaugural funds and will hang over the fireplace at the governor's meeting room in the state Capitol. Hutchinson is entering his final week in office. His successor, Governor-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders, will assume her role on Jan. 10.

Josie Lenora is the Politics/Government Reporter for UA Little Rock Public Radio.