Calling all artists! The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is hosting an open call from October 5, 2020, through January 29, 2021, for submissions to its sixth triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. Established in 2006, the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition invites artists living and working in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, American Samoa, and the US Virgin Islands to submit one portrait for consideration by a panel of experts. Submissions from each finalist will form The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today exhibition, which will be displayed at the Portrait Gallery from April 30, 2022, through February 26, 2023, before traveling.
The triennial competition welcomes all media and focuses on broadening the definition of portraiture while highlighting the genre’s wider relevance to society. It aims to bring together works that attend to the country’s diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and other conditions that shape the individual and collective identities of artists and sitters. The first-prize winner will receive $25,000 and a commission to portray a remarkable living American for the Portrait Gallery’s collection. Additional cash prizes will be awarded. Past first-prize winners include David Lenz (2006), Dave Woody (2009), Bo Gehring (2013), Amy Sherald (2016), and Hugo Crosthwaite (2019).
Taína Caragol, curator of painting and sculpture and Latinx art and history, is the director of the 2022 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. Guest jurors for this competition are Kathleen Ash-Milby, curator of Native American art, Portland Art Museum; Catherine Opie, artist and professor of photography at the University of California, Los Angeles; Ebony G. Patterson, artist, Chicago; and John Yau, critic and professor of critical studies, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Portrait Gallery jurors include co-curators of The Outwin 2022 exhibition Caragol and Leslie Ureña, associate curator of photographs, and Dorothy Moss, curator of painting and sculpture.