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The Outwin: American Portraiture Today – Ongoing Exhibit at the Ackland Art Museum – June 1st-Aug 26th

June 1, 2018

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 12:00am on Friday, repeating until August 26, 2018

One event on August 25, 2018 at 12:00am

One event on August 26, 2018 at 12:00am

We live in a culture that is shaped by social media. We play with identity through technology, which both connects us and isolates us. It is no wonder the genre of portraiture is experiencing renewed significance and thriving in the contemporary art world. As a genre, portraiture is akin to the raw, direct nature of a journal entry, often revealing aspects of the sitter’s identity that are messy or complicated or even artfully concealing the truth. It is the most personal—and certainly the most psychological—of art forms. As a viewer, we step into the relationship between the artist and the subject. Whether an artist is creating a visual autobiography, delving deeper into a relationship, or getting to know someone, the resulting portrait shows us a private world.

Every three years, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery invites artists to participate in the most prestigious portrait contest in the country: the juried Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. In 2016, its fourth iteration, jurors selected 43 winning works from more than 2,500 entries. The resulting exhibition has become a pivotal marker because, for the first time ever, the Portrait Gallery has sent it on tour. The Ackland Art Museum is honored to host The Outwin: American Portraiture Today and will be the exhibition’s final venue.

The first-prize winner of the 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, Amy Sherald has gained significant prominence recently as the commissioned artist for the official portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama. The Outwin marks Sherald’s return to UNC-Chapel Hill; she had her first solo exhibition in 2011 at UNC’s Sonya Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.


*Exhibit open every day that the museum is open (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)


Watch: The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today

The Ackland presentation of this exhibition has been made possible by generous support from The Caldwell Family Fund for the Ackland Art Museum, The Seymour and Carol Levin Foundation, Cathy and Hunter Allen, and Elizabeth Kenan Morton.


June 1, 2018
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Ackland Art Museum


Ackland Art Museum
101 S Columbia Street
Chapel Hill, 27514
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