CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A portrait of former Governor Earl Ray Tomblin now hangs in the Governor’s Reception Room at the State Capitol.
The painting was unveiled during a Friday afternoon press conference in Charleston.
“The setting is in the Governor’s Office,” Tomblin explained on MetroNews “Talkline.” “It’s at the end of the Governor’s desk with the State Flag in it and part of the Governor’s seal.”
Governor Jim Justice, who hosted Friday’s unveiling ceremony, said the portrait represents Tomblin’s years of hard work both in the state Legislature and in the Governor’s Office.
“You did one thing that was incredible and that is your served. You served without an underlying reason for yourself and I love you for it,” Justice told Tomblin and former First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin.
Tomblin was first elected to the state House of Delegates in 1974 at the age of 22.
“Not thinking that I was going to be spending 42 years under the dome up there, so it’s been quite an experience. I’ve seen a lot of changes happen over the years and I met a lot of fantastic people,” Tomblin said on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
Tomblin served as the 35th Governor of West Virginia from 2011 to 2017. He said he’s now enjoying his retirement.
“Sure you miss it after that many years there you miss the excitement when the Legislature is in session and so forth, but there comes a time when enough’s enough and it’s time to move on to another phase of your life,” he said.
The artist who painted the picture of Tomblin was Dr. Narijun Zhang, an associate professor of painting at West Virginia University.