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Smithsonian Portrait Competition

September 5, 2011

Applications are being taken in from now until through October 31, 2011 for the 2013 Outwin Boochever Portrait CompetitionI have consistently avoided paying a dime to apply for any competition; I literally do not have the money right now, but I made an exception to roll the dice for an institution as major as the Smithsonian.

The work or works submitted may be a self-portrait or representation of a person you know and are personally connected to.  I sent in Praxiteles II with hopes that the Smithsonian leans toward traditional media and expression.  [At least, that has always been my impression.  And this painting is my favorite in the triptych.]  There is a wide range of media that the work may be in, including sculpture and video.

Here are some details if you are interested in applying as well:

  • Open to U.S.A. residents only.
  • $35.00 application fee, via credit card or debit card. [Note: credit cards are much more secure. I do not recommend debit cards.]
  • The work must be recent, within a year or two from this date.
  • Open to students and professionals alike.
  • Images must be 1920 x 1920 square [pixels] and under 1.8 Megabytes [MB].
  • Read the fine print: there are a lot of legal details about this competition, insurance, conveyance of artwork and image rights.  There are several pages of details you need to look over carefully.
  • There is a second-party internet vendor that images and payment are to be submitted to called CallForEntry.org [CaFE].  Their website is not too intuitive; there are some quirks with this website.  Have the text you want to submit such as an artist statement saved in a file, copy and paste the text into the required fields, so nothing is lost by the website.  You need to create a sign in name and password, make a profile and upload your image[s] first before you apply to a “call” for a competition.  There is no charge to join the portfolio website; you may look through it for free things to apply to, many are regional.  You can apply to several of things at one time.  There is a list view and a calendar view of open events such as competitions and art jobs.  It works best to go through all of data listed and click the link to “Apply to This Call” for the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2013 Entry.  I was not able to figure out how the “Invitational Call Passcode” works, there is a search field; no code is given on the competition website anywhere. Ignore that tool, it is not relevant or needed to apply for the contest.
  • Despite the little CaFE wesbsite quirks I listed, applying online was pretty fast.  Your artist statement needs to be as short as the field allows, a total of 300 words or less.  Reading the details of the competition took longer; I did the actual application in less than a half hour.

My art hero Hung Liu is on the panel of judges. {Terror!!!}  The top prize would almost totally wipe out all of my student loans. {Desire!!}  The prestige of gaining any level of acceptance in this competition would look great on my artist resume  {Hope!}  Applying to an art competition is bringing up memories of my grammar school self, a child who was in a froth over achieving the bright blue ribbon for First Place every time there was a grade school contest.

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