Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell Announces Art Project Celebrating Former Virginia First Ladies
– Joined at the Executive Mansion by Four of Virginia's Former First Ladies –
RICHMOND- At a morning event at the Executive Mansion, Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell announced portraits of all of the living former First Ladies of Virginia in their Inaugural gowns will be painted by professional women artists. Four of Virginia's former First Ladies joined Mrs. McDonnell in Richmond for the announcement. The portraits will be completed by 2013, in time for the 200th Anniversary of Virginia's Executive Mansion, the oldest continually inhabited Governor's Mansion in the United States. All portraits will be paid for with private funds. The Valentine Richmond History Center, Virginia Commission for the Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia State Library and the Executive Mansion are all involved in this project. In addition to the announcement of the portraits, McDonnell also celebrated the 2010 culmination of MINDS WIDE OPEN: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts.
Speaking about the announcement, First Lady Maureen McDonnell remarked, "It's truly an honor to be joined by so many of Virginia's former First Ladies. These fabulous women have left their own personal touch on the Executive Mansion, and now, their portraits will be displayed in our halls as a constant reminder of the history they helped create. I am excited to support women in the arts in this exciting project and look forward to seeing the finished masterpieces during the 200th Anniversary of Virginia's Executive Mansion, which is a national landmark."
Joining First Lady McDonnell at today's event were four former First Ladies of Virginia, who along with McDonnell and Virginia's other former first ladies, serve as honorary chairs of MINDS WIDE OPEN: Anne Holton, Susan Allen, Jeannie Baliles and Jinks Holton. For more information on Minds Wide Open contact: Ernest DelBuono 866-677-9817 x 127
MINDS WIDE OPEN: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts 2010 was the first statewide celebration of its kind. The highly successful arts initiative was made possible by the generous financial support of Altria, Bank of America, Dominion, Norfolk Southern, SunTrust, the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. Special thanks also are extended to in-kind donors BCF, Media General, Neathawk Dubuque & Packett, Old Dominion University, Virginians for the Arts and Westminster Canterbury Richmond. For more information about the project, please visit www.ArtsVA.com
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