Teen Portrait Competition, 2022

July 29, 2022 – February 26, 2023

Prim, Proper, and Trashed by Bailey Levy, 9th grade, Florida, Courtesy of the artist

National Portrait Gallery
8th and G Streets, NW
Washington, DC

Floor Plan

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is proud to present the winners and finalists of the 2022 Teen Portrait Competition!

Sara Sonnenblick of Florida won the grand prize for ages 16–17. Her portrait Nor This Nor That tackles gender expression and authenticity while exploring the terms “femininity” and “masculinity.” Otto Grunewald of Michigan won the grand prize for ages 13–15 with a self-portrait entitled Trapped. The artist, who has generalized epilepsy disorder, uses photography as a tool to communicate his reality.

The eight finalists explore themes of American life through the eyes of teens in the United States today. Their portraits address topics ranging from identity, race, and body image to the condition of U.S workers as well as crimes committed against Indigenous women.

Inspired by the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, the National Portrait Gallery’s Teen Portrait Competition invited young people across the nation to submit their original photographs in January 2022. When the competition closed in March, there were almost three hundred entries submitted from twenty-two states and Washington, D.C.

Local students established the Teen Portrait Competition in 2011. This year, four members of the Portrait Gallery’s Teen Museum Council, a group of students from the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland, and the Portrait Gallery’s Curator of Photographs Leslie Ureña juried the competition.

Sara Sonnenblick and Otto Grunewald’s grand prize-winning photographs are currently on view at the Portrait Gallery near the exhibition The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today, which showcases portraits by finalists of the triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition who are 18 and older.