The Obama’s Purchase Painting From Local Buffalo Artist

Augusta Flowers
Augusta Flowers by Valentino Dixon

This Christmas, the Obama family got something handmade from Buffalonian Valentino Dixon.

Dixon is a Queen City artist who served 27 years in prison for a murder that someone else confessed to before he was exonerated. Making art was what helped him serve his time during his wrongful conviction.

His work caught the eyes of former First Lady Michelle Obama, after seeing a special about Dixon on HBO. She wanted to buy one of his paintings of a golf course for her husband, former President Barack Obama, who is an avid golfer.

She emailed him to arrange the purchase of the 20-by-30 inch painting.


However, it wasn’t just any golf course. It’s a larger version of the same painting Dixon first did in prison, for the warden where he was serving, and it was the golf course that sparked his art career while incarcerated.

Dixon also sent a special video message to the former president.

“I hope that you love your gift, and maybe one day you and the family can come draw and talk with me,” he said in the video.

He also had a message to share about the redemption and success he has found:

“In life, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” he said.

Read the full story here.


Author: EvelynEzquerro

Evelyn is currently pursuing her M.S in Public Relations from SUNY Buffalo State. She has her B.A in Public Relations from Suffolk University. Fun fact: She lived in Madrid, Spain for two years during her undergraduate education and was a fall 2020 Step Out Buffalo intern!

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