Monday, October 19, 2009

Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2009

This week the National Portrait Gallery will announce the winners of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2009 at an opening reception taking place on the evening of Oct. 22. The exhibition will open to the public Friday, Oct. 23 and will remain on view through August 22, 2010.

The show has been juried from 3,300 entries, down to 49 finalists from around the country. Of those 49, seven have been selected for the short list of cash prizes. The top award will win $25,000 as well as a separate commission from the Portrait Gallery. (In May, the museum unveiled Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s portrait by David Lenz, Lenz won first prize in 2006). The exhibition will display the works of the 49 finalists.

“The second Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition represents a significant milestone for the National Portrait Gallery,” said Martin Sullivan, director of the museum. “We opened the entries to all visual arts media and received a wonderful response.”

The competition happens only once every three years and demonstrates the new ways artists are working with the figure and creating portraits. External jurors for the competition were Wanda M. Corn, professor emerita in art history at Stanford University; Kerry James Marshall, artist; Brian O’Doherty, artist and critic; and Peter Schjeldahl, art critic for The New Yorker. Jurors from the National Portrait Gallery were Martin E. Sullivan, director; Carolyn K. Carr, deputy director and chief curator; and Brandon Brame Fortune, curator of painting and sculpture.

Portrait Competition Finalists and Shortlisted Artists (the asterisk denotes the artists on the shortlist):

Mequitta Ahuja, Houston
Jason Shaw Alexander, Los Angeles
Jen Bandini, Queens, N.Y.
Margaret Bowland, Brooklyn, N.Y.*
Benita Carr, Atlanta
Laura Chasman, Roslindale, Mass.
Mark Cummings, Newport Beach, Calif.
Yolanda del Amo, Brooklyn, N.Y.*
Armando Dominguez, Miami
Jenny Dubnau, Jackson Heights, N.Y.
Daniel Mark Duffy, Newtown, Conn.
David Eichenberg, Toledo, Ohio
Gaela Erwin, Louisville, Ky.*
Chambliss Giobbi, New York
David Gracie, Omaha, Neb.
Leor Grady, New York
Anne Harris, Riverside, Ill.
Patricia Horing, Larchmont, N.Y.
Kate Sammons, Los Angeles
Philip Schirmer, Sargentville, Maine
Justin Shaw, Lincoln, Neb.
Satomi Shirai, Astoria, N.Y.
Michael A. Smith, Ottsville, Pa.
Ben Tolman, Washington, D.C.
Jim Torok, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Anna Killian, Pensacola, Fla.
Erika Larsen, Hoboken, N.J.
David Dodge Lewis, Farmville, Va.
Lisa Lindvay, Chicago
Francesco Lombardo, Marshall, N.C.
Perin Mahler, Grand Rapids, Mich.
John Manion, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Bruce McKaig, Washington, D.C.
Pavel Melecky, Arlington, Texas
Sam Messer, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Paul Mindell, Norwalk, Conn.
Matthew Mitchell, Amherst, Mass.
Samantha Mitchell, New York
Austin Parkhill, Arvada, Colo.
Sonia Paulino, Los Angeles
Cliffton Peacock, Charleston, S.C.
Stanley Rayfield, Richmond, Va.*
Emil Robinson, Cincinnati*
Margaret Trezevant, Tampa, Fla.
Lien Truong, Eureka, Calif.
Clarissa Payne Uvegi, New York
Adam Vinson, Jenkintown, Pa.*
Dave Woody, Fort Collins, Colo.*
John Randall Younger, Charlottesville, Va.

I am familiar with the work of the two DC area artists on the list, Ben Tolman and Bruce McKaig. In fact, both of them have exhibited at the Fraser Gallery back in the days when I was a co-owner of those two galleries.

Seeking the scent of a white cube

As I mentioned a while back, we have moved back to the Greater DC area and thus once again I can refer to myself (as The Artists' Blue Book does) as a "active" in the District of Columbia.

So now I would like to re-acquire a local DC gallery to represent my work in the Greater DC area. I already have gallery representation in Philadelphia, PA, Richmond, VA and Norfolk, VA, but the vast majority of my collectors are in the Greater DC area, so it makes sense to re-establish a DC area gallery connection.

Since I moved to the DC area in 1992, away in 2006 and back in 2009, I've had a dozen solo shows (Annapolis, DC and Richmond) in the area, the vast majority of which have sold well or sold out plus have received extensive press coverage from the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the Washington City Paper, the Richmond Style Weekly, the Georgetowner, etc. My work gets the press' attention in one way or the other, even if it is to be described as "heavy-handed and irritating", as the Washington Post once did!

My work has also done well in art fairs in New York, Miami, Toronto and Santa Fe in the last few years. In fact, in my last NYC art fair earlier this year I sold about 20 drawings. At Art Santa Fe, which was a really tough fair because of the economy, and with many galleries not selling anything, my work was the only one that sold at the fair by the gallery that took it there.

So I need and want a gallery in the Greater DC area. If you are a gallerist and interested, drop me an email to and let's talk.