National Portrait Gallery Presents “The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today”

January 19, 2016
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“The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today,” an exhibition resulting from the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, will open March 12 at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The juried exhibition’s 43 artworks include sculpture, mixed media, photographs, paintings and drawings. 

This year’s competition received more than 2,500 entries in a variety of visual-arts media.

For the first time, the exhibition will travel after it closes at the Portrait Gallery Jan. 8, 2017. It will be on view at the Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, Wash., Feb. 4 to May 14, 2017; the Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi, Texas, June 8 to Sept. 10, 2017; and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 6, 2017, to Jan. 7, 2018.

Held every three years, the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition is made possible by gifts from volunteer and benefactor Virginia Outwin Boochever (1920–2005). The competition invites artists all over America to investigate the art of contemporary portraiture. The resulting exhibition celebrates excellence and innovation, with a strong focus on the variety of portrait media used by artists today.

The first prize winner receives $25,000 and a commission to create a portrait of a living individual for the museum’s permanent collection. Other cash prizes will be awarded for selected works. Winners will be announced at the press preview slated for March 11. A list of artists whose works were selected for the exhibition is here.

A separate competition, the annual online Teen Portrait Competition, was completed in October. Now in its third year, it received a record 449 entries from 34 states across the nation. The winner of the grand prize was Tiffany Vargas, 17, from the Bronx, New York City, for her charcoal and graphite work titled “Deep Thought.” Vargas’ artwork will be displayed at the museum just outside of the entrance to “The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today” exhibition.

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story 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: Connect with the museum at @NPG, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Tumblr.


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