The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery is showing through August 22, 2010, the selected portraits from the competition named after Virginia Outwin Boochever (1920–2005), a former Portrait Gallery volunteer whose generous gift has endowed this program.
Opened to professional artists (emerging and midcareer) with 18 years of age and over, living and working in the USA, the competition was juried online on a first stage to select the semifinalists, whose works were then selected on-site after being transported to Washington at the gallery's expense.
From more than 3,300 entries, only 49 works are included in this 2009 exhibition, representing the best in portraiture made by artists in the USA.
The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition is a triennial event that accepts all visual arts media and the winner receives a cash award of $25,000 and is awarded a separate commission to portray a remarkable living American for the Portrait Gallery's collection.
Image on top: "Laura" by Dave Woody (Fort Collins, Colorado) - Grand Prize Winner