Tuesday, April 05, 2005

National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery is scheduled to reopen in July 2006, and emulating their namesakes in England and Scotland, they are now institutionalizing and sponsoring a major new national competition for painted and sculpture portraits: The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.

logo of competitionOne portrait completed since January 1, 2004 may be entered between June 1 and September 6, 2005. Winner will receive $25,000 commission to complete a portrait for the Gallery's collection. Smaller awards for other finalists. Entry fee is $25 for online entries and $35 for snail mail entries.

Up to 500 paper entry forms accompanied by slides of the portrait will be accepted. Submit one or two slides for a painting and up to four slides for a sculpture. A paper entry form must be requested via e-mail from portraitcompetition@npg.si.edu after May 15, 2005. The entry fee will be $35, payable by credit card, certified check, or money order.

The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2006 will be judged in two stages. First, a panel of experts will use an online jurying system to select approximately 120 semifinalist works. The Gallery will then arrange to ship these paintings and sculptures to Washington, D.C., where the panel will meet again in early March of 2006 to select the 50-60 finalists. These works will be installed in the National Portrait Gallery’s newly renovated second-floor special exhibition galleries.

Details here. I think that it is a shame that only two genres (painting and sculpture) are being admitted to the competition. That decision leaves out the potential for the NPG to explore other rich and vibrant genres like printmaking, collage, photography, even video.

Insider's Hint: I know one of these jurors quite well, and at least in that juror's perspective, he/she will be looking for portraits that really "expand" the definition of portraiture. I will be really, really surprised if a "traditional" portrait is chosen; but I could be wrong.

Don't Mess with the (Russian Orthodox) Church!

(Thanks Joseph)

"The director of the Sakharov Museum was convicted Monday of inciting religious hatred with a controversial art exhibition that was deemed "blasphemous and profane" by the Russian Orthodox Church.

A federal district court fined museum director Yuri Samodurov and curator Lyudmila Vasilovskaya $3,600 each for organizing the 2003 exhibit, which featured dozens of artists' expressions on the subject of religion."
Read the story here. Password available here.

New Website

I keep forgetting to mention it, but our galleries website has been completely redesigned and relaunched.

New website has been designed by Mark Jenkins. Check it out here.