Former Gov. Janklow Portraits Unveiled
by Rachel Skytta, Reporter
November 15, 2013 5:07 PM
It's been years since former Gov. Bill Janklow served his last day in office. Now, the late governor's portrait is hanging on the wall in the Capitol with all other former governors.
Several generations of the Janklow family, from grandchildren to grandparents, came together to honor someone very special to them.
"It's an honor for us as a family to be here and represent him," said Mary Dean Janklow, Bill Janklow's wife.
Former Gov. Bill Janklow served a total of four terms as South Dakota's governor, form 1979 to 1987, and 1995 to 2003.
"He was in office for 20 years in South Dakota, and it's history," said Mary Dean.
Two portraits, representing the two separate terms and two different sides of the former governor were unveiled at the State Capitol in Pierre Fri., Nov. 15.
Current Gov. Dennis Daugaard accepted the portraits on behalf of the state, saying Gov. Janklow was a true leader who knew how to take charge.
More than three decades after being elected to his first term, Gov. Janklow's portrait will finally have a place on the wall with the rest.
Gov. Janklow passed away in Jan. of 2012, and said he never wanted his portrait displayed with others who served the state. His family says they're not entirely sure how he'd feel about it today.
"My daughter said he'd be stamping his feet," said Mary Dean.
"He was more about serving other people I think than honoring himself," said artist, Joshua Spies.
Joshua Spies, the artist behind the portraits, knew Gov. Janklow well, and says having that personal connection made this project tougher than he expected.
"There's so much, just a range of emotions, and then just the personal part of it," said Spies.
Both paintings took about a year and a half to compelte, but it wasn't all smooth sailing.
"There was one of the paintings I had done, and it wasn't quite turning out the way I wanted it to. So I completely changed it," said Spies.
Knowing that they will be on display for generations, Spies wanted to get every detail just right.
"I just did my best. Tried my hardest to portray him the best I could," said Spies.
He hopes his former governor and friend would be proud of the finished product.