Released January 4, 2024

Recchion Chosen to Paint Governor’s Portrait

INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 3, 2024) — Artist Russell Recchion has been selected to paint the official portrait of Gov. Eric Holcomb. The resulting portrait will become the 55th artwork in the Indiana Governors’ Portrait Collection, which is managed by the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.

Recchion (pronounced RUSH-on) was selected from a field of 31 artists with Indiana connections who responded to a public call for proposals. The criteria were artistic excellence, experience with portrait commissions and demonstrated ability to successfully complete the commission.

Recchion has worked as a portrait painter for more than 30 years and serves on the board of the Oil Painters of America. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and with portrait painter Nelson Shanks before beginning his career in Philadelphia. In 1990, Recchion and his wife, Laura, moved to Indianapolis where he built a studio in Avon and became active in the Hoosier Salon and the Brown County Art Guild. He currently resides in Tucson, Ariz., but remains involved in Indiana, most notably with Hoosier Salon.

At the annual Hoosier Salon exhibition, his recent awards include best in show in 2020 for his portrait “The Saint and the Scholar” as well as first place portraiture awards in 2021 and 2023. His work was also featured in the Hoosier Salon’s Clowes Collaborative Inaugural Invitational Art Exhibition.

Recchion’s many commissions have included portraits of Vaughn Bryson, CEO of Eli Lilly & Co., Jack Wentworth, dean of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, and John Rau, former dean of the Kelley School of Business and CEO of Chicago Title and Trust, among others.

“It is the highest honor for me to be selected to paint the official portrait of Gov. Eric Holcomb,” Recchion said. “I am proud to play such an important part in continuing this great tradition for the state of Indiana, where my wife and I lived and worked for years and where our twin sons were born.”

Work on the governor’s portrait will begin in the coming weeks. The museum anticipates the finished artwork will be unveiled in the latter part of this year.

“As the stewards of the Governor’s Portrait Collection, we are excited that Gov. Holcomb’s portrait will reflect Russell’s extensive experience, insightful portraiture and enthusiasm for the Hoosier state,” said Susannah Koerber, chief curator and research officer for the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.

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The Indiana Governors’ Portrait Collection began in 1869 when then-Gov. Conrad Baker started an effort to gather images of all the state’s governors. In total, the collection contains 54 artworks — with all but one of the state’s governors — many of which are on display at the Indiana Statehouse.

The museum is responsible for ensuring a portrait is done at or near the end of each governor’s time in office and added to the collection. The cost of the portrait is supported through private funds.

Recchion now joins the esteemed ranks of other notable painters, including T.C. Steele, Wayman Adams, Marie Goth, who was the first woman to paint an Indiana governor’s official portrait, and Mark Dillman, who created the last painting added to the collection in 2017 of Gov. Mike Pence.

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The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is a museum system with 12 locations across the state, offering visitors a chance to engage with Indiana’s past and present and see how their actions help shape the future. At each location, visitors are invited to explore big questions and create lasting experiences that will resonate long after each visit ends. Whether interested in art or architecture, history or science, there’s something for everyone and every interest. The Indianapolis museum is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The historic sites are located across the state, stretching from Rome City in northeastern Indiana to Evansville in the southwest.