Announced in the midst of a pandemic, this call for portraiture is also a coming together of our community. I cannot think of a more exciting way for us to share stories and make connections with one another. —Maggie North, Curator of Art at the Springfield Museums
The Springfield Museums present a Community Call for Portraits that will result in the exhibit This Is Us: Regional Portraiture Today at the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts October 24, 2020–April 4, 2021.
In conjunction with the exhibition The Outwin: American Portraiture Today (on view at the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts from October 3, 2020–April 4, 2021), the Springfield Museums invite submission of original portraits by artists of all ages residing in the Connecticut River Valley and Hartford County, CT.
“Since its opening in 1933, the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts has proudly showcased artworks by our exceptional community,” said Heather Haskell, Director of the Art Museums and Vice President of the Springfield Museums. “We are especially excited about This is Us: Regional Portraiture Today and look forward to sharing the submissions and back stories with our visitors.”
Artists are invited to use their own art materials, or to pick up a 16 x 20 inch canvas, free of charge, at the Museums Welcome Center during regular open hours. The Museums request only one submission per artist of a portrait created within the last two years. The Museums are especially interested in works that complement the themes explored in The Outwin: American Portraiture Today: identity, human connection, and responses to the current political and social environment. For more information, please see Community Call for Portraits.
“Of any artwork, portraiture is the most personal and in this time of social distancing, the show will provide all of us with the opportunity to ‘meet’ our neighbors through vicarious interaction,” Haskell said.
The Community Call is inspired by the upcoming exhibition The Outwin: American Portraiture Today, which is a major exhibition organized by the National Portrait Gallery featuring the finalists of its fifth triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. In 2019, nearly 50 works were selected from over 2,600 entries in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, time-based media and performance art. The resulting presentation reflects the compelling and diverse approaches that today’s artists are using to tell the American story through portraiture. Finalists have come from 14 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
“The National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition is open to artists from across the United States and attracts spectacularly creative submissions,” said Maggie North, Curator of Art at the Springfield Museums. “We anticipate that visitors to the exhibition will be inspired to create their own works of art, and hope that local artists will share their talent with us! The Springfield Museums’ open call will celebrate the diverse creative voices of our region and draw attention to the subjects they portray.”
The Outwin addresses themes of socio-political relevance, including immigration, Black Lives Matter, urban youth, the status of American workers, gun violence and LGBTQ+ rights. The work spans a variety of media and includes performance art for the first time.
“We hope that this open call will attract a broad range of approaches, mediums, voices, and generate both visual and verbal conversations,” North said. “This is an opportunity to celebrate the rich artistic talent that exists in the Connecticut River Valley and Hartford County. We look forward to filling a museum gallery with faces from our region!”
“Today, the word portraiture encompasses a broad category of artwork has the power to generate conversation, inspire compassion, or to express identity in new ways,” North said. “Announced in the midst of a pandemic, this call for portraiture is also a coming together of our community. I cannot think of a more exciting way for us to share stories and make connections with one another.”
Credits for Images from the D’Amour Museum Collection (left to right):
- Untitled (Self-Portrait of Erastus Salisbury Field), circa 1852, Ambrotype by Erastus Salisbury Field (American, 1805-1900). Donated by Vicki Nields, granddaughter of Mr. Victor H. Wesson & Mrs. Eleanor William Wesson, 2004.Ph.01.
- Head of Tiger Flowers Johnstone, 1934, Bronze by Emily Winthrop Miles (American, 1893-1962). Gift of Mrs. Darwin Morse (Sister of the Artist), 65.S01.
- Self-Portrait, 1980, Mixed media on paper, by Mari Mater O’Neill (Puerto Rican, born 1960). Gift of Richard Muhlberger, 93.13.