Oct
29

Every picture tells a story

Dave Woody of Fort Collins, Colo. has received first prize in the National Portrait Gallery’s 2009 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.  His photograph titled “Laura” was chosen as the winner from a field of more than 3,000 entries.  First prize is a cash award of $25,000 and a commission from the museum to portray a remarkable living American for the museum’s permanent collection.  The portrait by Woody, as well as works from 48 other artists, are on display at NPG through Aug. 22, 2010. 

Photo: (Click on thumbnail for fullsize version.) Detail from “Laura” by Dave Woody.

"Laura" by Dave Woody, winner of the 2009 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. (Photo by Warren Perry)

"Laura" by Dave Woody, winner of the 2009 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. (Photo by Warren Perry)

Of his work, Woody says, “I am never really attracted to photographing subjects who are totally self-aware or self-confident, as I’m more interested in those people who move through this world with a quiet grace.  Spending time with friends allows me to see them in a certain light where their mask drops and something soft and inviting is seen, and I’ll think of making a photograph of them.”

Stanley Rayfield, standing, with his father, the subject of the second prize winner, "Dad." (Photo by Warren Perry)

Stanley Rayfield, standing, with his father, the subject of the second prize winner, "Dad." (Photo by Warren Perry)

Second prize was awarded to Stanley Rayfield of Richmond, Va., for his painting,  “Dad ” and third place went to Adam Vinson of Jenkintown, Pa., the oil-on-panel painting “Dressy Bessy Takes a Nap.” Commended artists include Margaret Bowland, for a painting titled, “Portrait of Kenyetta and Brianna;” Yolanda del Amo, for her C-print photograph, “Sarah, David;” Gaela Erwin, for the pastel-on-paper, “Baptismal Self-Portrait;” and Emil Robinson for the oil-on-panel portrait “Showered.” Each was awarded a cash prize.

Adam Vinson with "Dressy Bessy Takes a Nap," winner of third prize. (Photo by Warren Perry)

Adam Vinson with "Dressy Bessy Takes a Nap," winner of third prize. (Photo by Warren Perry)

Finalists for the 2009 competition were chosen in early May, and the winners were announced at the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition Awards Celebration Oct.  22.   In addition, one exhibiting artist will win the People’s Choice Award, in which visitors to the exhibition, both online and in the gallery, may cast a vote for their favorite of the 49 finalists. Voting for the People’s Choice Award will close Jan. 18, 2010. To view the online exhibition and vote for your favorite, click here.

The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition is named for Virginia Outwin Boochever, a docent for and ardent supporter of the National Portrait Gallery.  The exhibition’s catalog describes Mrs. Boochever’s endowment for the portrait competition “as a way to benefit artists directly…as a unique opportunity to fill a void in the American art world.”  

(This story originally appeared on the National Portrait Gallery’s blog “Face to Face.”)


Posted: 29 October 2009
About the Author:

The Torch relies on contributions from the entire Smithsonian community.