The National Portrait Gallery announces the winners of the Outwin Boolever Portrait Competition and the opening of “The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today”

Held every three years, the Outwin Boocher Portrait Contest is dedicated to supporting artists everywhere United States, Porto Rico, Guamthe commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoaand the US Virgin Islands. This year’s competition will include a traveling exhibition showcasing the 42 portraits selected by a jury from more than 2,700 open entries. The resulting exhibition addresses themes such as the COVID-19 pandemic, demands for social justice, personal isolation, family ties, community support, love and loss.

As the first prize winner, Alison Elisabeth Taylorresident of brooklynwill receive $25,000 and a commission to create a portrait of a living individual for the museum’s permanent collection. The previous first prize winners are David Lenz (2006), David Woody (2009), Bo Gehring (2013), Amy Sherald (2016) and Hugo Crosthwaite (2019). This year, the second prize was awarded to Tom Jones of Madison, Wis.who submitted a photograph incorporating pearls, shells and rhinestones, titled “Eliza Leonard” (from the series “Strong Unrelenting Spirits”) (2019). The third prize was awarded to Pao Houa Her of Blaine, Minnesotafor his photography “untitled (man)” (2019).

The artists awarded this year are Elsa María Meléndez de Caguas, Porto Rico, for “Milk” (2020); collaborators Joel Daniel Phillips and Quraysh Ali Lansana of Tulsa, Oklahomafor their multimedia portrait including a drawing entitled “Killed Negative #13 / After Arthur Rothstein” (from the series “Killing the Negative”) and the poem “Hospitality” (2020); Stuart Robertson of Township of Lawrence, New Jersey, for “Self Portrait of the Artist” (from the series “Out and Bad”) (2020); and Vincent Valdez of Houston, TXfor “People of the Sun (Grandmother and Grandfather Santana)” (2019).

Museum visitors and online viewers will be able to vote online for their favorite finalist to receive the Audience Award from April 30 until October 16. The winning works from the teen edition of the competition, organized by the Portrait Gallery‘s Teen Museum Council, will be installed in late summer 2022.

The jurors for the 2022 Competition were Kathleen Ash Milby, Catherine Opie, Ebony G. Pattersonand John Yauand the curators of the portrait gallery Caragol, Ureña and Dorothee Moss.

The competition and exhibition are made possible by the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition Endowment, which was created by long-time National Portrait Gallery guide Virginia Outwin Boochever. The endowment is maintained by his family.

For more information on the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, visit

Media site: @smithsoniannpg, #Outwin2022

2022 Outwin Boocher Portrait Contest Finalists

holly bass, washington d.c.
Lois Bielefeld, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Gustave Blache III, New York, NY
Rebecca Blandon, Bronx, NY
Frank Blazquez, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Clarisse Bonet, Chicago
Donna Castellanos, Elmhurst, Illinois.
Jess T. Dugan, Saint Louis
Michelle Elzay, New York, NYand Nantucket, Mass.
TR Ericsson, Brooklyn, New York
Adama Delphine Fawundu, Brooklyn, New York
Paula Gillen, Boulder, Colorado.
Rigoberto Gonzalez, Edinburgh, Texas
Kira Nam Greene, Brooklyn, New York
Inga Guzyte, Santa Barbara, California.
Mari Hernandez, San Antonio
David Hillard, Boston
Keegan Holden, Los Angeles
Pao Houa Her, Blaine, Minnesota.*
Tom Jones, Madison, Wis.*
Laura Karetzky, Brooklyn, New York
Khánh H. Lê, washington d.c.
Timothy Lee, Brooklyn, New York
Riva Lehrer, Chicago
Jarod Lew, Beverly Hills, Mich.
Tim Lowy, Village of Elk Grove, Illinois.
Narsiso Martinez, Long Beach, California.
Rania Matar, Brookline, Mass.
Elsa María Meléndez, Caguas, Porto Rico*
Cheryl Mukherji, Brooklyn, New York
Marianna T. Olague, El Paso, TX
Maia Cruz Palileo, Brooklyn, New York
Joel Daniel Phillips, Tulsa, Oklahoma.and
Quraysh Ali Lansana, Tulsa, Oklahoma.*
Melissa Ann Pinney, Evanston, Ill.
Stuart Robertson, Township of Lawrence, New Jersey*
Robert Schefman, West Bloomfield, Mich.
Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Los Angeles
Josephine Sittenfeld, Providence, RI
Solomon rank, Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Ilene Spiewak, West Stockbridge, Mass.
Alison Elisabeth Taylor, Brooklyn, New York*
Vincent Valdez, Houston*

*Denotes the prize winner

SOURCE National Portrait Gallery

Julia P. Cluff