March 27, 2018 - Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery - Fifth Triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition open call
March 27, 2018

Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

Amy Sherald, Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance), 2013. Oil on canvas. Frances and Burton Reifler. © Amy Sherald. 

Fifth Triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition open call

Application period: May 28–September 3, 2018

Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

portraitcompetition.si.edu
npg.si.edu
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Fifth Triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition open call

Application period: May 28–September 3, 2018

Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

portraitcompetition.si.edu
npg.si.edu
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announces an open call from May 28 through September 3, 2018 for submissions to its fifth triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. Established in 2006, the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition invites artists (18 and over) living and working in the United States to submit one portrait for consideration. Selected artworks are featured in a museum exhibition and some artists are awarded prizes. This year, the competition will focus on broadening the definition of portraiture while highlighting the genre’s relevance in contemporary art and culture. The first-prize winner will receive USD 25,000 and a commission to portray a remarkable living American for the National Portrait Gallery’s collection. Additional cash prizes will be awarded. Submissions from each finalist will form The Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today exhibition, which will be displayed at the Portrait Gallery from November 2, 2019 through September 7, 2020, before traveling to other cities in the United States.

Held every three years, the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition has accelerated participants’ careers. Winner of the first competition (2006), David Lenz, created a portrait of Eunice Kennedy Shriver for the museum’s collection. He was followed by Dave Woody, who after winning first place in 2009, created a commissioned portrait of Alice Waters. Bo Gehring, who won the third competition in 2013, applied his prize commission to a new video portrait of Esperanza Spalding. Most recently, Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald, who won first-prize in the 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, created the official portrait of Mrs. Michelle Obama for the Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection. Sherald’s Miss Everything, Unsuppressed Deliverance (2013), alongside work by all 2016 finalists, continues on tour as The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today exhibition travels to the Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from June 1 through August 26.

For each competition, the museum selects three members of its staff and four professionals from outside the museum (critics, art historians, artists) to serve as jurors. Since 2006, guest jurors have included Dawoud Bey, Wanda M. Corn, Trevor Fairbrother, Peter Frank, Thelma Golden, Sidney Goodman, Hung Liu, Kerry James Marshall, Helen Molesworth, Brian O’Doherty, Richard J. Powell, Jerry Saltz, Peter Schjeldahl, Katy Siegel, Alec Soth and John Valadez.

Guest jurors for the 2019 competition are Harry Gamboa Jr., essayist, photographer, performance artist and founding member of the Chicano collective Asco (lives in Los Angeles); Lauren Haynes, curator of contemporary art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; Byron Kim, artist, senior critic at Yale University School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut (lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.), and Jefferson Pinder, artist, professor of sculpture and contemporary practices at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. National Portrait Gallery members of the jury include Taína Caragol, curator of painting and sculpture, and Latino art and history; Brandon Brame Fortune, chief curator; and Dorothy Moss, curator of painting and sculpture and director of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.

The competition welcomes all media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, textiles, video, performance and digital or time-based media. Artworks may originate from direct encounters between the artist and the sitter, but they may also be representative of indirect encounters. All entries by eligible artists must be submitted electronically through the online submission site. For further instructions and details, visit portraitcompetition.si.edu.

The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition is organized by the National Portrait Gallery and it is possible by the Virginia Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition Endowment, established by Virginia Outwin Boochever and continued by her children.

National Portrait Gallery
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of the United States through the individuals who have shaped American culture. Spanning the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists, whose lives tell the American story. Connect with the museum at npg.si.edu, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and the museum’s blog.

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