Michelle Obama Gifts Barack A Very Special Painting
This year for the former First Family was more special than ever thanks to a one-of-a-kind painting that Michelle Obama gifted to former President Barack Obama.
Golf Digest reports that Michelle gave her husband a drawing of the Augusta National’s 12th hole that she purchased from artist Valentino Dixon who was exonerated in 2018.
Dixon had served 27 years of a life sentence in prison for a murder that he did not commit. He had been arrested for a shooting after an anonymous tip was given and, even though someone else confessed to the murder, the case was built on Dixon. He was sentenced in 1991 and served his time at Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York.
While incarcerated, Dixon turned to art as an escape. “When I was in my six-by-eight-foot prison cell, I was drawing nonstop, 10 hours a day, never taking a day off,” he revealed to Golf Digest. “When I got out, I wondered would I have the same discipline?”
Media attention from Golf Digest and the The Golf Channel led to a nationwide focus on his case, and soon pro bono lawyers were working to get him freed. A documentary made by Georgetown University students chronicles his ordieal. Finally in 2018, another individual, Lamar Scott pleaded guilty to the crime and Dixon was freed.
The painting that was sold to Michelle was the first painting that Dixon completed as a free man.
After his story was told on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” in October, Golf Digest reports that Michelle was moved by it. Dixon received a phone call from the former First Lady’s assistant about her interest in purchasing the painting.
Golf Digest also reports that in addition, Dixon recorded a special video message for the 44th president to go with the artwork.