At Last, Completed Dennis Kucinich Mayoral Portrait Could Be Installed at City Hall


Artist Matthew Hunt (right), reviewing framing options at M Gentile Studios. - COURTESY OF MATTHEW HUNT
  • Courtesy of Matthew Hunt
  • Artist Matthew Hunt (right), reviewing framing options at M Gentile Studios.
After years of uncertainty, artist Matthew Hunt has been fully paid for his Dennis Kucinich mayoral portrait, which he finished in 2014. The painting may at last grace the Mayor's Red Room at City Hall, where Kucinich is the only modern mayor in Cleveland's history not to have his portrait on display.

Hunt, of Akron, delivered the painting to Cleveland's M Gentile Studios in January. Together with the AFL-CIO's Harriet Applegate, he selected a frame for the portrait.

A City Hall unveiling date has yet to be coordinated with Mayor Frank Jackson, but Applegate told Erick Trickey that she's shooting for May or June.  (Trickey covered the saga of the Kucinich portrait for years at Cleveland Magazine, and first reported the potential unveiling.)

Kucinich is currently running for Governor of Ohio. He'll be on a crowded Democratic primary ticket on May 8. He served as Cleveland's mayor from 1977-1979, a tumultuous term in which he was constantly at odds with the region's business community.

To punish Kucinich, business leaders refused to pay for his portrait, as they'd done with mayors past. A kielbasa-and-pierogi fundraiser generated roughly $12,000 to pay an artist back in 2002.

Hunt had been paid for half of his work, but was still owed more than $7,000 as of this fall. Applegate managed to track down the remaining funds.

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