National Portrait Gallery Announces Second Annual Teen Portrait Competition

July 30, 2013
News Release

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has extended the “call for entries” for its second annual Teen Portrait Competition. Artists between the ages of 13 and 17 may submit portraits to the juried competition in all media All submissions will be reviewed online. The deadline for submissions has been extended to Friday, Oct. 18. The two grand-prize photos will be printed and displayed at the National Portrait Gallery in 2014, and the grand-prize and 10 honorable-mention photos will be featured in an online exhibition.

Washington, D.C.-area teenagers designed the competition for their peers under the supervision of the museum’s education department. The teenagers, ages 13 to 17, worked on planning, creating and marketing the competition. The competition was designed to introduce teenagers to the concept of representing identity through portraiture.

“Our main goal for this project is that it be ‘for teens, by teens,’” said Rebecca Kasemeyer, director of education for the National Portrait Gallery. “I am pleased that this second round Design Team has developed a theme that will spark creativity to teens across the nation.”

Contestants are encouraged to submit a fine-art portrait that showcases their artistic talent. Pieces will be judged based on creativity and reflection of the subject and the creator’s identity. Entry applications will be submitted online through, and the finalists will be chosen by the Teen Design Team. The jurors for this competition will include the Teen Design Team, a National Portrait Gallery curator and several other art professionals.

The competition accepts portrait submissions in all media. Submissions will be reviewed online through Two winners will be chosen: one in the 13- to 15-year-old category and one in the 16- to 17-year-old category. Photographs of the two winning pieces will be displayed in the museum in a space dedicated to the Teen Portrait Competition in spring 2014. Winners and honorable-mention pieces will be featured on the Portrait Gallery’s blog Additional prizes will include a $300 gift certificate for the two first-place winners and gift cards for 10 honorable mentions (five in each age category).

More information about entering the competition is available at Additional questions can be sent to

Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the history of America through the individuals who have shaped its culture. Through 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.

The National Portrait Gallery is part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at Eighth and F streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Website: Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000.

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