ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty peers straight ahead in a dark suit with the state Capitol behind him in an official portrait that will forever hang in the building.

Pawlenty opted against a symbol-laden painting to commemorate his time as governor as several of the previous 38 have. He says it reflects the serious times in which he governed.

The portrait was unveiled Monday night at a ceremony for family, friends, staff and supporters. It will formally take its place for public view on Tuesday.

The portrait unveiling leads off Pawlenty's most visible week since leaving the presidential race in August.

He'll appear on Minnesota Public Radio on Tuesday for his first extensive interview. On Sunday, he'll appear on "Meet The Press" to vouch for the candidacy of former opponent Mitt Romney.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)