/  12.28.2020


Michelle Obama gifted her husband, Barack Obama, a very special piece of art this Christmas. The former first lady purchased a painting of the famous Augusta National Golf Course’s 12th hole done by Valentino Dixon — a wrongfully convicted man who was exonerated in 2018.

Dixon served 27 years in prison for a murder that he did not commit. The 50-year-old, who spent much of his time behind bars practicing drawing, said Michelle reached out to him after seeing his profile air on HBO’s “Real Sports.”

“It doesn’t get any better,” Dixon said to WKBW. “[Michelle Obama] saw my story on HBO and [her team] reached out to buy a golf drawing for Barack Obama for Christmas.”

Michelle commissioned the 20” x 30” drawing of Augusta National Golf Club, which is also the first golf course Dixon ever drew while he was in prison. On Instagram, Dixon celebrated the sale.

“Happy Holidays everyone,” he wrote. “Michelle Obama purchased this Augusta National 12th hole 20×30 drawing for Barack as a Christmas gift, it was an honor and a privilege. God is good.”

Since being freed in 2018, Dixon has gone on to become a public speaker, criminal justice reform advocate and well-known artist. He was arrested in 1991 after an anonymous tip identified him as the shooter at a murder scene, but his lawyer never called eight witnesses who could have confirmed his innocence. Years later, another man confessed to the crime.

“It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish. My story is one of faith and redemption,” Dixon said. “We’re all going to be tested with something in this lifetime, and we don’t get to choose what test it’s going to be. We’ve just got to hang in there and stay strong. I’m an example to people that you can overcome everything.

Due to his renowned golf course illustrations, Dixon also speaks at golf clubs about prison reform.

“These are not issues that they would normally either know about or come into contact with,” he said, according to The Grio. “I am the link between the inner city and the golf course.

See Dixon’s post below.

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