RULES OF ENTRY
- The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition is open to artists who are at least 18 years old (at time of entry) and are living and working in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Entries in all forms of visual arts media are welcome, including painting, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, time-based art, and performance art.
- Artists may only submit one artwork for consideration. The work must have been created after January 1 of the year of the last competition award. Submissions must be made online. A portal link will be provided through our Call for Entries.
- Up to two images of the artwork can be submitted. For multipart works, one image should show a view of the entire work, and one image should be a detail view which includes one component of the work. Up to one audio or video of the artwork can be submitted.
- For time-based art, artists should submit a compressed exhibition copy not to exceed 10 MB for audio and 100 MB for video. Up to one video or two images of the artwork can be submitted.
- Performance submissions should include a fully developed, finished written concept and visuals. If the work has already been performed, photographic or video documentation of the event should be included as a compressed video file not to exceed 100 MB, or two still images. If it has never been performed, a storyboard or drawings outlining the action should be submitted as an image file.
- Size restrictions:
- 2-D work: overall dimensions should not exceed 7 ft. (height) x 7 ft. (width) x 8 in. (depth) (including frame); overall weight should not exceed 150 lbs.
- All 2-D works must be framed. Works on paper (including photographs) need UV filtering acrylic (e.g., Plexiglas), and pastels and charcoals need UV filtering anti-static acrylic, non-reflective glazing preferred. Paintings can have strip frames.
- 3-D work: overall dimensions should not exceed 7 ft. (height) x 7 ft. x 4 ft.; overall weight should not exceed 150 lbs.
- Any physical element accompanying a performance work may not exceed the parameters provided for 2-D and 3-D works.
- Artists whose works are selected as semifinalists agree to loan their objects from the semifinalist period through the end of the national tour. See Calendar for dates. Loan period will be set forth in a loan agreement prior to work being picked up for the final jury round of the competition.
- Performance and time-based art will need to be adaptable to the infrastructure that Portrait Gallery and subsequent tour venues are able to provide.
- While artists always maintain copyright of their work, as a condition of entry for the exhibition, artists shall grant to the Portrait Gallery the irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide right to use and reproduce all exhibited works for the exhibition publication, research, public programs, publicity, any promotional print materials, and electronic distribution on websites and social media platforms maintained by the Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian, in connection with the Portrait Competition and resulting exhibition.
- Work entered into the competition may not be sold at any time during the competition, subsequent exhibition, or the national tour.
- Artists must have written approval to submit any work that is owned by a third party.
- Semifinalist works will be packed and shipped to Washington, D.C., for further judging of the original portraits.
- Work will be retrieved only from an address in the United States, and the Portrait Gallery will return work only to the address from which it was picked up, unless the artist notifies the Portrait Gallery in writing of a change of address in the United States. All packing and shipping arrangements and costs will be handled by the Portrait Gallery up to $3,000 one way; the artist or owner must cover any costs exceeding that amount.
- The artist needs to carry insurance for the work while in transit to and from Washington, D.C. While in the custody of the Portrait Gallery, the work will be insured under the Smithsonian policy. For more details, see Liability Guidelines in the full Rules for Entry (see link to a PDF of the full Rules for Entry at bottom of page).
- The National Portrait Gallery reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any artist it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Portrait Competition, including its website. It also reserves the right to disqualify any artist who does not adhere to the Rules of Entry.
- The Portrait Gallery is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunctions of the internet or any website, including uploading issues, injury or damage to artists' or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating or downloading materials in this Portrait Competition.
- Smithsonian Institution employees, regents, trustees, officers, volunteers, interns, fellows, research associates and members of any of the foregoing’s immediate family or household are ineligible to enter the competition.
- If, for any reason, the Portrait Competition is not capable of running as planned, the Portrait Gallery reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Portrait Competition.
Click for a downloadable version of our Rules of Entry.