A new painting by one of Central Washington’s most beloved artists recently went up at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, and fundraising is underway for another piece to be displayed at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia.

Leo Adams joined Halverson family members on Thursday afternoon in donating and hanging the untitled piece commissioned for the lobby of Memorial’s Family Birthplace. Marie Halverson and late husband Fred, a Yakima attorney, were involved in philanthropic efforts in the city for many years.

They have also been generous donors to the Family Birthplace, which is a passion for Marie, according to information provided by Memorial. Two of Fred and Marie Halverson’s three daughters were born at the hospital. The Halverson donation celebrated Thursday also included funds for new Birthplace equipment such as beds, sleeper sofas for family members and “Panda Warmers,” according to information from Memorial.

On Thursday, all three Halverson daughters joined Marie Halverson, who donated the Adams painting; Adams and some Birthplace and Memorial staff at the late afternoon gathering on Halverson’s 89th birthday.

Adams’ paintings are rich with the browns, tans and greens of the Yakima Valley and the rolling land around his distinctive handcrafted home west of Yakima. He included blues and pinks in the Family Birthplace painting to acknowledge the babies born there. The painting is one of four by Adams hung in Memorial facilities, including the ‘Ohana Mammography Center and the Emergency Department.

Governor’s Mansion

Adams also has been commissioned by the Governor’s Mansion Foundation to represent Yakima County and the Yakama Nation to create a framed canvas painting for the mansion’s ballroom. The painting will depict the Yakama Nation and the beauty of Yakima Valley, according to a news release. Adams is a Yakama citizen.

The goal is to raise at least $20,000 by September to honor Adams’ 80th birthday on Nov. 7. Adams, who is also a sculptor, was born to Harvey Adams and Lillian Hoptowit Adams before fraternal twin brother LeRoy.

leo adams artwork

Artist Leo Adams (wearing black) stands in his home with (from left to right) Governor’s Mansion Foundation Area 4 (Yakima) trustees Reesha Cosby Cherie Hanses, John Baule and Kristine Sims. The foundation is working to raise funds to commission a piece by Adams for the Governor's Mansion in Olympia. (Submitted photo)

November is Native American Heritage Month and the 50th anniversary of the foundation. The foundation has already raised $10,000 toward the goal, the release said.

It wouldn’t be the first time Adams’ artwork has appeared at the Governor’s Mansion. From late 1998 to the summer of 1999, a dozen of his paintings were displayed in a gallery off the public family room at the request of the foundation. The all-volunteer, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization is responsible for maintaining and enhancing furnishings and art for the public rooms of the Governor’s Mansion.

The mansion is set to reopen to the public in September, with free guided tours resuming as well.

To support funding of Adams’ artwork for the mansion, donate online or mail a donation to the Governor’s Mansion Foundation, PO Box 4052, Olympia, WA 98501.

Reach Tammy Ayer at tayer@yakimaherald.com.

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