Baltimore artist’s Elijah Cummings painting will hang in the United States Capitol

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Portrait of Elijah Cummings by Baltimore artist to be exhibited at United States Capitol

The painting by a Baltimore artist will pay homage to a beloved figure in Maryland and across the country, the Honorable Elijah E. Cummings. | MORE: WBAL-TV’s Black History Month reports A selection committee has awarded the commission to paint the late congressman’s portrait to Baltimore-based artist Jerrell Gibbs. “I wanted this painting to have a realistic feel,” Gibbs said. Cummings was known for his deep, reassuring voice and his hands that move with strength and grace. Born in South Baltimore during the Jim Crow era of segregation, Cummings served as a lawyer, state delegate and U.S. congressman for 12 terms. The painting is inspired by the image on the cover of Cummings’ memoir, “We’re Better Than This: My Fight for the Future of Democracy,” taken by Baltimore-based photographer Justin T. Gellison. For the portrait, Gibbs spent a lot of time figuring out who Cummings was. “Finding so many of his characteristics, traits that spoke to who he was as a person, as a human being,” Gibbs said. It would take Gibbs six months to come up with the idea of ​​how to paint it. “The descriptive words that kept coming up for me (were) integrity, strength, honor, dedication. Those are the things I focused on,” Gibbs said. Once he had his idea of ​​how to paint Cummings, it would take only three and a half hours to complete. Looking closely at the painting, it can appear rudimentary, something intentional, like the flowing, loose brushstrokes that create the idea of ​​movement. He wanted it to look like Cummings would hit the hammer at any moment. “As you get closer, you see the brush strokes, you will be able to see the process. When you move away from it, it turns into a real painting,” Gibbs said. Gregory Hinton brought his 12-year-old daughter, Amiya, an aspiring artist, to see the portrait at the Baltimore Museum of Art so she would know who Cummings was and what he meant.” I think that’s good. I like the detail,” Amiya said. “I think it’s a good memory of him. It’s very detailed, very creative how he put it together, it’s really an honor to watch it,” Hinton said. “It will be here long after I’m gone. It’s a huge honor. I’m grateful to have this opportunity. It’s big for me, for my family and it’s big for my city,” said Hinton. said Gibbs. Cummings died in 2019. His portrait was on display at the Baltimore Museum of Art last month. It will soon be on display at the United States Capitol, but no date has been set.

The painting by a Baltimore artist will pay homage to a beloved figure in Maryland and across the country, the Honorable Elijah E. Cummings.

| FOLLOWING: WBAL-TV’s Black History Month Reports

A selection committee awarded the commission to paint the portrait of the late congressman to Jerrell Gibbs, an artist based in Baltimore.

“I wanted this painting to have a realistic feel,” Gibbs said.

Cummings was known for his deep, reassuring voice and his hands that moved with strength and grace. Born in South Baltimore during the Jim Crow era of segregation, Cummings served as a lawyer, state delegate and U.S. congressman for 12 terms.

The painting is inspired by the image on the cover of Cummings’ memoir, “We’re Better Than This: My Fight for the Future of Democracy,” taken by Baltimore-based photographer Justin T. Gellerson.

For the portrait, Gibbs spent a lot of time finding out who Cummings was.

“Finding so many of his characteristics, traits that spoke to who he was as a person, as a human being,” Gibbs said.

It would take Gibbs six months to come up with the idea of ​​how to paint it.

“The descriptive words that kept coming up for me (were) integrity, strength, honor, dedication. Those are the things I focused on,” Gibbs said.

Once he had his idea of ​​how to paint Cummings, it would only take three and a half hours. Looking closely at the painting, it can appear rudimentary, something intentional, like the flowing, loose brushstrokes that create the idea of ​​movement. He wanted it to look like Cummings would hit the hammer at any moment.

“As you get closer, you see the brushstrokes, you can see the process. When you move away from it, it turns into a real painting,” Gibbs said.

Gregory Hinton brought his 12-year-old daughter, Amiya, an aspiring artist, to see the portrait at the Baltimore Museum of Art so she would know who Cummings was and what he meant.

“I think it’s good. I like the details,” Amiya said.

“I think it’s a fond memory of him. It’s very detailed, very creative how he put it together, it’s really an honor to watch it,” Hinton said.

“It will be there long after I’m gone. It’s a huge honor. I’m grateful to have this opportunity. It means a lot to me, to my family and to my city,” Gibbs said.

Cummings died in 2019. His portrait was exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art last month. It will soon be on display at the United States Capitol, but no date has been set.

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