Sidwell Friends Welcomes Portrait Artists

Four semifinalists in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition are this year’s Daryl Reich Rubenstein Guest Artists.

Sedrick Huckaby of Fort Worth, Texas; Louie Palu of Washington, DC; Jefferson Pinder of Chicago; and Alison Taylor of Brooklyn, New York, were honored guests at an evening reception in the Rubenstein Gallery, where their work was exhibited. The artists shared about the creative process during a panel discussion moderated by Dorothy Moss, the Portrait Gallery’s associate curator of Painting and Sculpture and Outwin Boochever competition director. Sedrick and Louie both joined Dorothy earlier that day for Upper School Collection.

“These artists push the boundaries of portraiture to challenge conventions and contribute to the national dialogue around issues of race, identity, family, and community,” said Dorothy. “Through their work in a variety of mediums, including painting, lithography, photography, marquetry, and video/performance art, the artists explore the complexities of identity in our current cultural and historical context.” She noted that these artists rose to the top out of more than 3,000 entries in a variety of visual arts media, including digital animation and video, large-scale drawings, prints, photographs, textiles, as well as painted and sculpted portraits.

Held every three years, the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition was made possible by volunteer and benefactor Virginia Outwin Boochever (1920–2005). The competition invites artists all over America to investigate the art of contemporary portraiture. The resulting exhibition celebrates excellence and innovation, with a strong focus on the variety of portrait media used by artists today.

In selecting these particular artists as Rubenstein guest artists, Dorothy carefully considered how their work would speak to the students at Sidwell Friends. In Collection with the students, Dorothy geared her inquiries to how the artists “let their lives speak” through work that provokes empathy, fosters respect for all people, and encourages dialogue about what it means to be part of a community, locally and globally.

The semifinalists’ work will be on display in the Daryl Reich Rubenstein Gallery until October 23. For more about the guest artists and the Daryl Reich Rubenstein Gallery, click here.

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