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Wanted: Indiana artist to paint Gov. Holcomb’s official portrait

Gov. Eric Holcomb on Dec. 17, 2021, unveils his Next Level agenda in a video presentation. The state is looking for a Hoosier artist to paint Gov. Holcomb's official portrait as part of a tradition that dates back more than 150 years. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Feeling inspired? The state is looking for a Hoosier artist to paint the official portrait of Gov. Eric Holcomb as part of a tradition that dates back more than 150 years.

The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is accepting online applications through Monday, Oct. 23, and will coordinate the selection process to determine the painter who will receive the commission.

Once complete, the 42- by 42-inch oil or acrylic painting will become the 55th portrait added to the Indiana Governors’ Portrait Collection.

The state’s first official governor’s portrait was completed in 1869 for then-Gov. Conrad Baker. The artist chosen to create Holcomb’s portrait will join the ranks of notable Hoosier painters T.C. Steele, Marie Goth, and Wayman Adams.

The announcement of the chosen artist is expected by Jan. 31, 2024, with the official portrait unveiling planned for fall 2024.

How to apply

To be considered, all artists must be a resident or native of Indiana or a graduate of an Indiana college or university. Preference will be given to Indiana residents.

Eligible artists will also need to submit an application at

Applications must include the following:

  • Resume or CV including past portrait experience and commissions, a list of their work in public collections, past exhibitions, and art training.
  • An artist’s statement about their approach to portrait painting. Specific ideas about the commission may be included but are not required.
  • Six to 10 digital color samples of their portrait work, including some detail, for upload to the application website.
  • Proposed dollar amount required for the commission. Framing costs should not be included in the artist’s fee.
  • Contact information, including email and mailing addresses and phone numbers.

An applicant’s schedule must be flexible and open to travel. All travel costs will be reimbursed.

Applicant review process

Applications will be reviewed by a panel that includes representatives from the Indiana Arts Commission, the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, the Office of the Governor, and professional artists and curators.

The panel will choose the finalists based on artistic excellence, previous experience with portrait commissions, and demonstrated ability to successfully complete the commission.

As in years past, the artist’s commission and framing of Holcomb’s portrait will be paid through private funding. Any remaining funds will be held by the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites for the preservation and exhibition of the Indiana Governors’ Portrait Collection.