Direct From The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery – The Outwin: American Portraiture Today

Direct from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery – The Outwin: American Portraiture Today

The Springfield Museums are delighted to present The Outwin: American Portraiture Today at the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts October 3, 2020 through April 4, 2021.

The Outwin has gained a reputation for spotting the best of the best in American portraiture,” said Kay Simpson, President and CEO of the Springfield Museums. “We are delighted to offer this important exhibition to our visitors. And we are excited to also feature regional portraiture in our Community Gallery.”

The Outwin: American Portraiture Today is a major exhibition organized by the National Portrait Gallery featuring the finalists of its fifth triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. Every three years, artists living and working in the United States are invited to submit one of their recent portraits to a panel of experts chosen by the Portrait Gallery. 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 Outwin: American Portraiture Today features intimate depictions of individuals whose remarkable stories are rooted in the most pressing challenges of our time,” said Kim Sajet,
director of the National Portrait Gallery. “Nearly all of the leading national conversations from the past three years—immigration, the rights of workers, climate change and the impact of racial violence—are presented here on a personal level. It is a moment to stop, look around and admire the tenacity and beauty of the American spirit through portraiture.”

The latest edition of The Outwin addresses themes of socio-political relevance, including immigration, Black Lives Matter, adolescence, the status of American workers, gun violence and LGBTQ+ rights. Included in the exhibition is the work of the competition’s first-prize winner Hugo Crosthwaite, a resident of San Diego, and the first Latinx artist to receive this prestigious award since the national competition was founded in 2006. His prize-winning stop-motion drawing animation, “A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez” (2018), recounts a woman’s journey from Tijuana, Mexico, to the United States in pursuit of the American dream. He received a cash award of $25,000 and a commission to create a portrait of a living individual for the Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection. Previous first-prize winners are David Lenz (2006), Dave Woody (2009), Bo Gehring (2013) and Amy Sherald (2016). The competition received national news coverage in 2018 when Sherald was chosen by First Lady Michelle Obama and the National Portrait Gallery to create the former First Lady’s official portrait for the National
Portrait Gallery’s collection.

Second prize was awarded to Sam Comen of Los Angeles, who submitted the photograph “Jesus Sera, Dishwasher” (2018). Third prize, a tie, was awarded to both Richard Greene of Los Angeles for his photograph “Monroe, LA” (2016) and Wayde McIntosh of Brooklyn, New York, for his painting “Legacy” (2017). This year’s commended artists are Natalia García Clark of Los Angeles and Mexico City for her video “Self-Portrait” (2017); Lauren Hare of Portland, Oregon, for her photograph “Secrets” (2017); and Adrian Octavius Walker of Oakland, California, for his
photograph “Black Virgin Mary” (2018).

“We are thrilled to display this celebrated and prestigious exhibition in Springfield and to present the many expressions of portraiture being pursued by artists today,” said Heather Haskell, Director of the Art Museums and Vice-President of the Springfield Museums. “From traditional oil paintings to inkjet prints, to wall sculpture made from polymer clay, the portrayals of identity are technically outstanding and often powerful, poignant and thought- provoking.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, available at the Museums Store.

This exhibition has been organized by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Washington,
D.C. The competition and exhibition are made possible through generous support from the Virginia Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition Endowment.

National Portrait Gallery

Smithsonian affiliation made possible through the generous support of the MassMutual Foundation.

MassMutual Foundation