By Karen Morfitt

DENVER (CBS4) – A Colorado state lawmaker is turning a political joke into a new work of art.

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(credit: CBS)

Just days after someone placed a picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the capitol building, Sen. Kevin Grantham is now spearheading a push to collect money for a portrait of President Donald Trump.

It will complete the gallery of U.S. Presidents at the State Capitol.

(credit: CBS)

“As they come in they can see how we honor the Presidents of the United States,” Grantham said.

Grantham says the majority of the portraits were donated, the others funded by private donations.

CBS4’s Karen Morfitt interviews Sen. Kevin Grantham. (credit: CBS)

Until last week, no money had come in for the commission of our current president’s portrait.

Then Sen. Steve Fenberg, a Democrat, tweeted a photo showing someone had placed a photo of Putin in its place.

Grantham says he was not sure it was real at first, but says they are no looking into how it happened.

“This is basically a political statement and political demonstration within the capitol. It is simply not allowed,” he said.

That prank inspired Grantham to launch a GoFundMe page.

He says in just a few hours of being online, they raised thousands of dollars.

(credit: CBS)

“Seeing the donations coming in from average Joes and everybody from every walk of life coming in at $3 to $500, it really speaks to the kind of president he is and the kind of people who admire him and respect him,” he said.

Grantham says at the pace donations are coming in, he expects to have the painting in its place ahead of the next legislative session.

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Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.