Patricia Watwood chosen from a field of 350 applicants

Patricia Watwood chosen from a field of 350 applicants

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) announced that former Governor Gina M. Raimondo has selected Patricia Watwood, of Brooklyn, N.Y., to paint her official gubernatorial portrait.

Chosen from a field of 350 applicants, the official portrait selection committee of State Arts Council members and community representatives initially narrowed the applications for the commission to 11.

Brooklyn-based Watwood is a leading figure in the contemporary figurative movement. Her subjects are primarily women and figures, incorporating myth and narrative. She has been exhibited at the Beijing World Art Museum, The European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM), The Butler Museum, and is in the collections of The St. Louis University Museum of Art, and The New Britain Museum of American Art.

Upon hearing of the commission, Watwood said, “It is a great honor to be selected to portray Rhode Island’s first woman governor. In creating this work of art for the State House, I look forward to celebrating her inspiring service, and show young women, girls, and the people of Rhode Island that there is a place in leadership at the highest level for all of us.”

Previously, Watwood’s commissioned portraits include two mayors of St. Louis for City Hall and two historical portraits of pioneering women, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and Ida B. Wells, both in the collection of the Harvard Art Museums. Other institutions that have commissioned her work include Weill Cornell Medical Center, St. Louis University, and Washington University. Originally from St. Louis, she has created portraits for many families in the St. Louis area as well as around her current home, New York.

Watwood is a member of the Salmagundi Club of New York, where she is the current First Vice President (2021). She is also a Signature member of the Portrait Society of America and named a Living Master by the Art Renewal Center. She’s represented by Portraits Inc. and Dacia Gallery, and others.

Watwood earned her MFA with honors from New York Academy of Art and studied with Jacob Collins as a founding member of the Water Street Atelier. Watwood has produced instructional DVDs including “Creating Portraits from Life,” with Streamline Art Video, has been a professor of drawing at New York Academy of Art.

She has created several online drawing courses, including Seven Days of Drawing, with the creative streaming platform Craftsy.com. She has written articles for American Artist, American Arts Quarterly, and Fine Art Connoisseur magazines, and teaches painting in Brooklyn, online with Terracotta.org, and in workshops around the country.
Her first book, “The Path of Drawing,” is coming out with Monacelli Studio Press in late 2022. Learn more about Watwood at www.patriciawatwood.com.

State law requires that an official portrait be commissioned for each governor by the Secretary of State’s office. The Secretary of State has requested that the State’s Arts Agency oversee the process.

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