I am in love with The Outwin 2016 exhibit at the National Portrait Museum. I've walked through it four times now. It's unhealthy. I just can't resist the varied-medium, varied-approach, varied-demographic view of humanity.
The exhibit is a showcase of the annual Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, and features the 50 finalists. The mediums vary from traditional photography, to large acrylic paintings, to installation pieces. It also features local talent; the first place winner, Amy Sherald, is from Baltimore, MD, and the second place winner, Cynthia Henebry, is from Richmond, VA. Below are a few of my favorites - read on to learn why this exhibit draws me in so magnetically.
I love the portrayals of raw identity. Although some portraits do depict famous figures, most of the exhibit is of every-day Americans by rising artists, which is a healthy counter to the vast majority of the Portrait Gallery's collection. This exhibit is worth a (free) visit, especially for DC locals taking visiting friends and family around the city. I've brought many friends who are not typically attracted to museums, and they couldn't help but be drawn in as well. This is the sign of a great exhibit, especially in such a public institution.
P.S. Shoutout to the recently opened "Eye Pop: The Celebrity Gaze" exhibit at the Portrait Gallery for featuring my absolute favorite author, Jhumpa Lahiri in their celebrity portrait collection!