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Face It - Portraiture is Back at National Portrait Gallery
The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2006.
WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announces, for the first time ever, The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2006. Since the beginning of time, artists have given voice to their thoughts and feelings, hopes and ideals, by depicting something we all possess – the human form. Cavemen did it. Rembrandt did it. Andy Warhol did it. Now the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is inviting artists all over America to do it.

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is proud to announce the first-ever Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2006, as part of its drive to welcome portraiture into the 21 st century. Named for Virginia Outwin Boochever, a former NPG volunteer whose generous gift has endowed this program, the inaugural competition and resulting exhibition will focus on innovation and excellence in portrait painting and sculpture. The winner of the competition will receive a cash award of $25,000, and will be commissioned to create a portrait of a remarkable living American for the Gallery’s permanent collection. The winning artist and the Gallery will collaborate to select the subject for this portrait. The second-prize winner will receive $5,000, and the third-prize winner will receive $3,000. Up to four additional artists may be commended for their work, and they will receive $1,000 each. All finalists’ work will form the lead exhibition for the Gallery’s reopening in 2006.

Alice Neel’s self-portrait is just one example of modern portraiture in the Gallery’s collection. Each artist may enter one original work depicting anyone – a friend, relative, or a self-portrait – but it must be the result of the artist’s direct encounter with that person. While the human form must be the focus of the work, artists are invited to interpret the concept of portraiture broadly; for example, an entry might possibly not include a face. The work must have been completed after January 1, 2004. The competition is open to all professional artists who are living and working in the United States and are age 18 and older. Both emerging and midcareer artists are invited to participate. The entry period will run from June 1 until September 6, 2005.

Entries will be accepted online at the Gallery’s Web site. For details and more information, please visit

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