P R E S S R E L E A S E
Lawrence Artist’s Sunflower Painting Finds Permanent Home Above Kansas Governor’s Desk
Lawrence, KS, February 23, 2007
When Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius looks above the computer at her desk, the bright sunny faces of Kansas’s sunflowers smile back. “I really enjoy looking up at the painting through out my day”, says Governor Sebelius. The large impressionistic sunflower field oil painting by Lawrence Artist Debra Clemente now hangs permanently over the Governor's desk in her private office in the Kansas Capitol Building in Topeka. This is the first piece of sunflower themed artwork to be part of the Governor's office permanent art collection at the Capitol or at Cedar Crest, the Governor's residence.
The Junction City Arts Council purchased Sunshine Grows in Kansas, an oil painting by Lawrence artist Debra Clemente, and then gifted the work to the Kansas Governor's office. This Tuesday morning Junction City Mayor, Terry Heldstab, presented the painting to Governor Sebelius. “It’s like the return of an old friend,” remarked the Governor and she was delighted to accept the painting for the Governor’s office. The Clemente painting had previously been on loan to the Governor’s office for about 7 months hanging above the Governor’s desk.
Originally the painting was part of a sunflower themed Kansas artists exhibit in the Governor's office last summer. When that exhibit was taken down in August the Governor and staff decided to leave the Clemente sunflower painting up, as they felt as if it was meant to be there. Clemente agreed to loan the painting to the Governor's office through the inauguration in January. As well, the Governor, her staff and other relevant parties made in known that they would like the painting to be purchased so it could remain above the Governor's desk.
“It means so much to me”, Clemente explains, “to have my painting be part of this important collection. I’m especially honored to have it installed above the Governor’s desk. As life long Kansan, with family roots planted deep in this rich Kansas soil, I feel my painting is personal tribute to my all of my ancestors who lived on and worked this land.”
For more information about Debra Clemente and to see more of her work visit www.artistdeb.com, her on line art gallery.