The Saga of a Conspicuously Absent Dennis Kucinich Portrait

Cleveland Magazine's Erick Trickey — who won't be with Cleveland, or Cleveland, much longer — has updated a story he's been following for some time regarding a portrait of Dennis Kucinich and its rightful place in City Hall.

The portrait was completed last year, Trickey reports, and with any luck, should soon find its way to the Mayor's Red Room. It's been 36 years since Kucinich's tumultuous boy-Mayor reign, and he remains the only mayor in Cleveland's recent history not to have been celebrated via portraiture.

"The absence of his portrait is conspicuous," Councilman Joe Cimperman told Trickey. Cimperman was instrumental in raising the funds for the portrait — pierogi and kielbasa dinner in Tremont, notably — and ensuring that it will ultimately have a home at City Hall.

Spokespeople for the city seem eager to "welcome" the likeness. There's even talk of some unveiling ceremony. But Cimperman, (a former Kucinich congressional opponent) and others want to make sure Kucinich is cool with the honor before they start sending out invites and stuff.

For now, the painting's chilling in Akron, at the home of artist Matt Hunt, who's patiently waiting for someone to pick the daggone thing up and pay him for his services. (He won a contest to paint the portrait back in 2003, for God's sake).

Fun little Cleveland story. Thanks for this one, Trickster.  
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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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