Painting Michelle Obama

Sidedoor Season 2

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The day that Amy Sherald heard that she had been chosen to paint a portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama, she called her mom to tell her the news, and then she told her dog. But soon after, the nerves set in. How was she going to create a portrait of one of the most iconic women in the world? In this episode of Sidedoor, we journey to Amy's studio to hear exactly how she captured the spirit of Michelle Obama in paint on canvas, and what she thinks of the reactions to her work.

You can see Amy Sherald's portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama in The Obama Portraits Tourorganized by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, that will travel to five cities across the U.S. from June 2021 through October 2022. To experience the unveiling ceremony, you can watch the archived webcast.

Fancy yourself an artist? Learn about the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, which Amy Sherald recently won.

Because of Her Story

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