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Tuesday, July 29, 2014


The National Portrait Gallery's juried competition is open to artists 18 and over to submit portraits created after Jan. 1, 2013, in any visual medium including painting, drawing, sculpture, prints, photography, textiles, performance and digital media. 

The winner will receive a cash award of $25,000 as well as the opportunity for a separate commission for the Portrait Gallery's collection.

Entries may be submitted online starting Aug. 1. The exhibition finalists will be presented in 2016. 

Dawoud Bey, photographer and video artist, Chicago
Brandon Brame Fortune, chief curator, National Portrait Gallery
Helen Molesworth, chief curator, MOCA, Los Angeles
Dorothy Moss, associate curator of painting and sculpture, National Portrait Gallery
Jerry Saltz, critic, New York Magazine
Kim Sajet, director, National Portrait Gallery
John Valadez, painter, muralist and photographer in Los Angeles

The competition is open to all professional artists age 18 and over who are living and working in the United States or its territories. Both emerging and midcareer artists are invited to participate. Each artist may enter one work depicting anyone—a friend, a stranger, a relative, a self-portrait, or a group—but each portrait must be the result of the artist's direct encounter with that person or persons. While the human form must be the focus of the work, artists are invited to figure out and interpret the concept of portraiture broadly; for example, an entry might not include a face. The work must have been completed after January 1, 2010.

The winner of the competition will receive a cash award of $25,000 and may have the opportunity for a separate commission to portray a remarkable living American for the Portrait Gallery's collection. The winning artist and the Portrait Gallery will collaborate to select the subject for the commissioned portrait. The second-prize winner will receive $7,500, and the third-prize winner will receive $5,000. Four additional artists may be commended for their work and will receive $1,000 each. All finalists' works will form a major exhibition which will be on view at the National Portrait Gallery from March 23, 2013 until February 23, 2014.

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