“The second Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition represents a significant milestone for the National Portrait Gallery,” said Martin Sullivan, director of the museum. “We opened the entries to all visual arts media and received a wonderful response.”
The competition received 3,300 entries in a variety of visual arts media, from digital animation and video to large-scale drawings, prints and photographs and a plethora of painted and sculpted portraits. It was open to artists working in the United States who had created portraits after Jan. 1,2007, in any visual art form. The exhibition of the finalists’ works includes paintings, sculpture, drawings, photographs and video.
External jurors for the competition were Wanda M. Corn, professor emerita in art history at Stanford University; Kerry James Marshall, artist; Brian O’Doherty, artist and critic; and Peter Schjeldahl, art critic for The New Yorker. Jurors from the National Portrait Gallery were Martin E. Sullivan, director; Carolyn K. Carr, deputy director and chief curator; and Brandon Brame Fortune, curator of painting and sculpture.
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. During the exhibition, museum and Web site visitors can vote for their favorite pieces as part of the “People’s Choice Award,” and winners of this part of the competition will be announced Jan. 24, 2010. The endowment from the late Virginia Outwin Boochever has enabled the museum to conduct a national portrait competition and exhibition that encourages artists to explore the art of portraiture.