Call for Entries for the Portrait Gallery's 2022 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition (now thru Jan 29)

National Portrait Gallery


2022 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is accepting submissions for its sixth triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. The competition focuses on broadening the definition of portraiture and aims to bring together works that attend to the country’s diversity and other conditions that shape the individual and collective identities of artists and sitters. Founded in 2006, the competition is made possible by the Virginia Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition Endowment, established by Virginia Outwin Boochever and continued by her children.

2022 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition

Jurors for the 2020 Competition


Taína Caragol, National Portrait Gallery • Kathleen Ash-Milby, Portland Art Museum • Dorothy Moss, National Portrait Gallery • Catherine Opie, University of California, Los Angeles • Ebony G. Patterson, Chicago-based artist • Leslie Ureña, National Portrait Gallery • John Yau, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University

The 2022 Competition is directed by Taína Caragol, Curator of Painting and Sculpture and Latinx Art and History at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

2022 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition

Why Apply?

  • Submissions from each finalist and prizewinner will form The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today exhibition, which will be displayed at the National Portrait Gallery April 30, 2022 - February 26, 2023, before traveling to other cities.
  • The first-prize winner will receive $25,000 and a commission to portray a remarkable living American for the Portrait Gallery’s collection. Additional cash prizes will be awarded.
  • Join the club! Past first-prize winners include David Lenz (2006), Dave Woody (2009), Bo Gehring (2013), Amy Sherald (2016), and Hugo Crosthwaite (2019).

Who can apply?

  • Artists 18 years of age and up who are living and working in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

What to submit

  • Artists can submit one portrait for consideration by a panel of experts.
  • The competition welcomes all media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, textiles, video, performance, and digital or time-based art.
  • Artworks may originate from direct encounters between the artist and the sitter, or draw on earlier references, such as art historical images or archival sources. Portraits may be of individuals or groups and represent sitters of different ages.
  • All entries must be submitted electronically through the online submission site, link found at



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