National Portrait Gallery Announces Winners of the “Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2013”

$25,000 First Prize Goes to Video Artist Bo Gehring of Beacon, N.Y.
March 22, 2013
News Release

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The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announces that Bo Gehring of Beacon, N.Y., has received first prize for the “Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2013” for a video titled “Jessica Wickham.” First prize is a cash award of $25,000 and a separate commission from the museum to portray a remarkable living American for its permanent collection.

Second prize was awarded to Jennifer Levonian of Philadelphia, who submitted a digital video animation titled “Buffalo Milk Yogurt.” Third prize went to Sequoyah Aono of New York. His self-portrait sculpture was created with acrylic on wood. Commended artists are Paul D’Amato of Riverside, Ill., for his photograph “Lillian, New Covenant Church of Deliverance, Chicago, 2011”; Martha Mayer Erlebacher, from Elkins Park, Pa., for her pencil-on-paper self-portrait; Heidi Fancher, from Washington, D.C., for her C-print photograph titled “For Delia”; and Beverly McIver of Durham, N.C., for her oil-on-canvas work titled, “Depression.” Each will be awarded a cash prize.

These works are finalists in the nation’s most prestigious portrait competition. Of more than 3,000 entries submitted from across the country, 48 artists’ works were chosen to display in the exhibition; seven of these were chosen for the short list. Submissions included digital animation and video, large-scale drawings, prints, photographs and textiles, as well as painted and sculpted portraits.

“Reviewing more than 3,000 portraits for the ‘Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition’ was a moving experience,” said Dorothy Moss, director of the competition and assistant curator of painting and sculpture at the museum. “When images told the story behind the work, when I heard the artist’s voice clearly in the work, I knew the portrait was successful. In this strong selection of pieces the intimate dynamic between sitters and artists is brought into focus, and the outcome is mesmerizing.”

Finalists for the 2013 competition were chosen in September 2012, and the winners were announced at the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition awards celebration Friday, March 22. (A full list of the artists represented in the exhibition follows at the end of this release.) In addition, one exhibiting artist will win the People’s Choice Award. Voting can take place through the free OBPC mobile app and will be available for iOS and Android at March 23. The app also offers tours of the exhibition, interviews with artists and jurors, and inside information about the finalists. The People’s Choice Award will be announced Sept. 22.

External jurors for the competition were critic Peter Frank, artist Hung Liu, art historian Richard Powell and photographer Alec Soth. The jurors from the National Portrait Gallery were Brandon Brame Fortune, chief curator; Moss, assistant curator of painting and sculpture; and Wendy Wick Reaves, interim director of the museum.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication illustrating each of the 48 finalists’ works. It includes an essay by Mary Sheriff, the W.R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Art History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. It will be available in the museum store for $14.95.

The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition is a triennial event that invites figurative artists to submit entries in all media to be considered for prizes and display at the National Portrait Gallery. The endowment from the late Virginia Outwin Boochever enables the museum to conduct a national portrait competition and exhibition that encourages artists to explore the art of portraiture.

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. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Website:

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National Portrait Gallery
Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition Finalists and Shortlisted Artists 2013

*Denotes artists who were selected for the short list.

Leslie Adams, Toledo, Ohio

Veronika Adaskova, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Keliy Anderson-Staley, Russellville, Ark.

Sequoyah Aono, New York*

Bo Bartlett, Vashon, Wash.

Aaron Morgan Brown, Selinsgrove, Pa.

Laura Chasman, Roslindale, Mass.

Sean Cheetham, Los Angeles

Lia Cook, Berkeley, Calif.

Paul D’Amato, Riverside, Ill.*

Lynn Davison, Naples, Fla.

Ray DiCapua, Storrs, Conn.

Willard Dixon, San Rafael, Calif.

Tim Doud, Washington, D.C.

Martha Mayer Erlebacher, Elkins Park, Pa.*

Heidi Fancher, Washington, D.C.*

Carole Feuerman, New York

Lucy Fradkin, Staten Island, N.Y.

Rieko Fujinami, Beacon, N.Y.

Bo Gehring, Beacon, N.Y.*

Vincent Giarrano, Washington Depot, Conn.

Philip Grausman, Washington, Conn.

Jason Hanasik, San Francisco

Gwen Hardie, New York

Anne Harris, Riverside, Ill.

Erik Hougen, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Edgar Jerins, New York

David Kassan, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Saeri Kiritani, Forest Hills, N.Y.

Bridget Lanigan, Coram, N.Y.

Megan Ledbetter, Jamaica Plain, Mass.

Jennifer Levonian, Philadelphia*

Beverly McIver, Durham, N.C.*

Tina Mion, Winslow, Ariz.

Katie O’Hagan, Beacon, N.Y.

Louie Palu, Washington, D.C.

Bly Pope, New Richmond, Wis.

Catherine Prescott, Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Caitlin Teal Price, Washington, D.C.

Carolyn Schlam, Taos, N.M.

Neil Shigley, San Diego

Burton Philip Silverman, New York

Michael A. Smith, Ottsville, Pa.

Ginny Stanford, Sebastopol, Calif.

Tema Stauffer, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Tun Ping Wang, Long Island City, N.Y.

Jill Wissmiller, Memphis, Tenn.

Kumi Yamashita, New York