Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2013

The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2013 is an art competition which believes in planning ahead.  The call for entries runs from September 1, 2011 and October 31, 2011.

Outwin Boochever - Call For Entries Flyer image
The competition and resulting exhibition will celebrate excellence and innovation, with a strong focus on the variety of portrait media used by artists today.


What prizes are on offer?

The winner of the Outwin Bouchever Competition receives a cash award of $25,000 (about £15,250) and will be awarded a separate commission to portray a remarkable living American for the Portrait Gallery's Collection.

Other prizes include:
  • 2nd prize - $7,500
  • 3rd Prize - $5,000
  • Commendations - $1,000
The artwork of all finalists can be seen in a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery between 22nd March 2013 and 4th January 2014. 

Who can enter?
  • all professional artists aged 18 and over who are currently living and working in the USA (ie note that's not the same thing as American citizens - but, if you hail from another country, does rather suggest you have permission to live and work in the USA!)
  • emerging and mid-career artists are eligible to enter
  • Ineligible to enter the competition: Smithsonian Institution employees, regents, trustees, interns, volunteers, fellows, and research associates
The FAQS page can be found on the website.  It contains information not found in the brochure - such as
A professional artist earns a significant portion of his or her income from their art and regularly shows works in solo and group exhibitions.
What sort of artwork is eligible

The National Portrait Gallery welcomes single figures, groups, or self-portraits— from classical drawing and painting or hyperrealistic sculpture, to large-scale photography, to prints and new media  
  • Portraits MUST be the result of the artist's direct encounter with the subject of the portraitWhich basically means you have to have met them in some way.
  • the concept of portraiture can be interpreted broadly eg a work does not have to include a face
  • artwork completed after 1st January 2010
  • single or multiple portraits
  • artwork depicting a friend, a stranger, a relative - or yourself
  • types of acceptable artwork: OBPC 2013 is open to all visual arts media.  This includes: drawings, paintings, sculpture, prints, large-scale photography and new media. (There don't seem to be any constraints on the type of media - but there is a suggestion that an ordinary photograph won't make the grade)
    How to enter
    The Outwin Boouchever Exhibition Calender

    The last one occurred in 209 and the entry dates were scheduled for June 2 – July 31, 2008.

    Below is the competition calendar as quoted on the website
    1. September 1, 2011, 9:00 a.m. EDT - Call for Entries begins
    2. October 31, 2011, midnight EDT - Deadline for submitting entries
    3. April 15, 2012 - Semifinalists are notified
    4. May 15, 2012 - Semifinalist work must be available for shipping to Washington, D.C.
    5. October 30, 2012 - Finalists are notified, and non-selected works are returned to artists
    6. March 22, 2013 - The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2013 exhibition opens at the National Portrait Gallery
    7. January 4, 2014 - The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2013 exhibition closes
    8. January – February, 2014 - Artworks are returned to exhibiting artists
    One thing puzzles me - why the very extended delay between the announcement of selected finalists and the exhibition opening?

    There's no explanation that I can see on the website as to why the dates of the submission window for the 2013 competiton are in 2011.  The equivalent competition in the UK - the BP Portrait Award - gets from submission to hang and announcement of award in slightly more than six months.
    • Do you think it's possible somebody got the dates wrong?  
    • Did somebody forget to book a slot in the exhibition calendar?
    Who are the jurors and how will it be judged?

    The jurors are
    1. Brandon Fortune - Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
    2. Peter Frank - Curator, writer, and critic, Los Angeles, California
    3. Hung Liu - Artist and Professor, Mills College, Oakland, California
    4. Richard J. Powell - John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
    5. Alec Soth - Photographer, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    6. Martin E. Sullivan - Director, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
    So that's three judges from California and two from the Smithsonian.  I understand the latter given the Smithsonian's involvement with the competition - but am very surprised by the three judges from California.  Did nobody look at where they came from?  To me it doesn't suggest a range of different perspectives from across the country.

    The first round of judging will be done online.  That means your digital image needs to:
    • represent the artwork well online
    • represent the artwork accurately if it is to survive the next round
    The next round will then be based on the actual artwork - which has to be shipped to Washington.

    Tell me about the history of this competition

    The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition now happens every three years.  You can read more about it here.

    This link contains links to Outwin Bocheever Portrait Prize Winners 2006-2009:  winning image and the website of the winning artist

    Link: Portraiture - Resources for Artists

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