(STATEHOUSE) – As Indiana prepares for the bicentennial commemoration of President Abraham Lincoln’s life, State Sen. Vaneta Becker (R-Evansville) and State Rep. Suzanne Crouch (R- Evansville) prepare to honor local artist Thomas Lewis Kennedy’s efforts to promote Lincoln’s legacy.
Kennedy created The Life of Abraham Lincoln, the official Lincoln Bicentennial promotional artwork to be used to in next year’s celebration commemorating America’s 16th president.
Because of his efforts, Becker and Crouch nominated Kennedy to receive the Distinguished Hoosier Award, an award given by the governor’s office in recognition of an individual’s contribution to the community and the state.
“As a member of the Lincoln bicentennial commission, I know we could not award this honor to a more deserving individual,” said Rep. Crouch. “Thomas Lewis Kennedy’s art keeps Lincoln’s memory alive and vibrant in the minds of Hoosiers and the entire country, reinforcing his tremendous legacy and invaluable lessons.”
“Kennedy worked for two years researching and painting scenes that depict the life of Lincoln,” Becker said. “His passion and commitment to portraying the life of Lincoln, an American icon, is an inspiration.”
The award will be presented to Kennedy at 10:00 a.m. Friday at the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana’s Bower Suhrheinrich Foundation Gallery, 318 Main St., Evansville.
Kennedy’s painting, which is endorsed by the National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, depicts Lincoln’s life, in four places: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Washington D.C.
Efforts by a Lincoln legacy group are under way to place Kennedy’s print in all schools throughout the nation by February 2009.
“My fascination with Lincoln was partially due to the fact that I have lived in three of the four places Abraham lived,” Kennedy said in a message on his Web site. “I was born 35 miles from his Kentucky birthplace, lived and worked in Chicago, Illinois and now reside within 35 miles of his boyhood home in Spencer County, Indiana. As I painted, my admiration for Lincoln grew. This great man is one of the finest role models anyone could choose. Throughout the celebrations of the bicentennial of his birth, it is my hope that many more people become aware of the legacy of this great man.”
For more information about the Lincoln bicentennial, visit www.lincolnbicentennial.gov/ .
To learn more or purchase Kennedy’s work, visit www.thomaskennedyart.com/life-of-lincoln.htm .
Sen. Becker represents Senate District 50, which includes portions of Vanderburgh and Warrick counties.
Rep. Crouch represents House District 78, which includes portions of Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties.