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Hugo Crosthwaite Awarded First-Prize in Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is proud to announce that gallery artist Hugo Crosthwaite has been awarded First Prize in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. 

Hugo Crosthwaite’s work will be presented in The Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today, a major exhibition premiering at the National Portrait Gallery October 26, 2019 through August 20, 2020. The exhibit will present the work of this year’s nearly 50 finalists, including seven artists that were shortlisted for prizes, selected from over 2,600 entries. As the first-prize winner, Crosthwaite receives a cash award of $25,000 and a commission to create a portrait of a notable living person for the museum’s permanent collection.

The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition encourages artists from across the United States to submit artworks that challenge the definition of portraiture. This year’s competition, the fifth triennial exhibition in this series, received entries in a variety of media and the winning artworks reflect the very compelling and diverse approaches that today’s artists are using to tell the American story through portraiture. Finalists have come from 14 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. The winners were announced at a press preview on October 25th. Previous first-prize winners include David Lenz (2006), Dave Woody (2009), Bo Gehring (2013), and Amy Sherald (2016)—who went on to paint the portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama.

Hugo Crosthwaite was born 1971 in Tijuana, Mexico and graduated from San Diego State University in 1997 with a BA in Applied Arts.  An American citizen, Crosthwaite lives and works in San Diego, CA and Rosarito, Mexico. His works are in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA; Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA; San Diego Museum of Art, CA; National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL, and numerous private collections around the world.

“The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition was founded to support the next wave of contemporary portraiture in the United States,” said Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery. “The diversity of this edition’s entries, from geographic origin to subject matter, reflects the multifaceted story of contemporary America. Topics range from stories of migration to the celebration of urban youth culture. The exhibition promises to pay close attention to the LGBTQ community, American workers and those facing injustice because of their race or immigration status. The selected artworks attest to the relevance of portraiture today as a powerful affirmation of the human experience.”

Jurors for the competition’s fifth edition are Byron Kim, artist and senior critic at the Yale School of Art; Harry Gamboa Jr., artist, writer, and faculty member at the California Institute of the Arts; Lauren Haynes, curator of contemporary art at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; and Jefferson Pinder, artist and professor of sculpture and contemporary practices at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The National Portrait Gallery’s Brandon Brame Fortune, chief curator; Dorothy Moss, curator of painting and sculpture and performance art; and Taína Caragol, curator of painting and sculpture and Latino art and history, also served on the committee.

Moss is the director of the 2019 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition and is co-curating the exhibition “The Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today” with Caragol.

The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition is made possible by the Virginia Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition Endowment, established by Virginia Outwin Boochever and continued by her children.

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of the United States through the individuals who have shaped American culture. Spanning the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists, whose lives tell the American story.

The National Portrait Gallery is part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at Eighth and F streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000.

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