Blog / 2009 / When My Work Is Like a Steakhouse Dinner...

February 26, 2009

My portrait of City Commissioner Randy Leonard seems to be making news like no other of my paintings. The latest is from Steve Law’s article in the Portland Tribune, which describes in detail Leonard’s questionable spending of leftover campaign funds.

Most of the expenses involve steaks and more money than I spend on food in a month, but my name tops the list of purveyors of carbonized beef. Leonard spent more on the portrait than on any of his dinners.

Portland City Commissioner with his portrait by Gwenn Seemel
photo by David Vanadia

I won’t defend Leonard’s dining habits since it could easily be argued that no one needs to plunk down that much money on one meal, but I do take exception to the director of Democracy Reform Oregon Janice Thompson saying:

“I’m hard-pressed to see how buying artwork with campaign funds can be considered either a valid campaign or officeholder expense, especially given that city officials are provided office budgets.”

You would think Leonard would get a little credit for investing in the arts.

UPDATE

March 10, 2009

The Leonard portrait dragged my name and my chosen genre through the mud one more time before this story was finally put to bed. I share my reaction here.

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