Gov. Northam’s official portrait unveiled as term comes to an end

Virginia Politics

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam unveils his portrait at the Capitol Tuesday Jan. 11, 2022, in Richmond, Va. Northam’s portrait, which will hang on the third floor of the Capitol, includes references to the many issues he dealt with during his term. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is at the end of his term and as he leaves the governor’s mansion, a portrait of him will remain highlighting some of his actions and passions.

The portrait was unveiled during a ceremony on Tuesday.

Northam stands in the middle of the portrait but in the background are numerous nods to his personal, professional and political history.

On a bookshelf to his right, at the same level as his heart, is a portrait of his wife First Lady Pamela Northam. The first lady worked with the governor during his term to expand access to early childhood education in Virginia.

Also in display on the shelf in the painting is a bronze sculpture of children, according to the governor’s office this represents Northam’s career as a pediatric neurologist. The saying “There is power in every child” is shown on the sculpture.

Books in the painting display the titles: “COVID-19 Pandemic Response,” “Child Neurology,” and “Best State for Business 2019-2021.” The governor’s office said these are representative of Northam’s work and accomplishments during his term.

To Northam’s left there is a flag of Virginia and a framed picture of the Eastern Shore — the place where he grew up.

As for what his office describes as his “proudest moments,” those are seen on two newspapers at the foreground of the painting. The newspapers are painted with the headlines: “Virginia Repeals Death Penalty,” and “The Country’s Biggest Remaining Confederate Statue Comes Down in Virginia.”

Back in March, Northam sat for artist Stanley Rayfield to begin work on the portrait.

Rayfield is from Virginia and graduated from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Arts. His work has been displayed in Richmond at the Glave Kocen Galley and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Nationally, his work has been acquired by The United States Pentagon, museums, universities and collectors.

Rayfield is an established portraits painter previously portraying U.S. Armed Forces Service Members, local county dignitaries, university dignitaries, theologians and CEOs.

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