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The art of portraits

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2016 Outwin Boochever Competion is on exhibit at AMST 2016 Outwin Boochever Competion is on exhibit at AMST
Dorotghy Moss of the national Portrait Gallery curated the show Dorotghy Moss of the national Portrait Gallery curated the show
Painting by Sedrick Huckaby, George W. Bush's painting instructor Painting by Sedrick Huckaby, George W. Bush's painting instructor
Harlingen painter Rigoberto Gonzalez deals with contemporary issues Harlingen painter Rigoberto Gonzalez deals with contemporary issues
CORPUS CHRISTI -

The Art Museum of South Texas has a new exhibit that should resonate with a lot of folks in this age of selfies and  Snapchat. Every three years, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery invites artists acrMoss the nation to submit works for the Outwin Boochever  Portrait Competition. It's named in honor of Virginia Outwin Boochever. She was a docent at the museum for some 20 years, and she was very active n promoting and supporting the art of making portraits.

A panel of judges selected 43 works from the  25-hundred. That were submitted for the 2016 competition. Dorothy Moss, the curator of painting and sculpture at the National  Portrait Gallery was one of the judges, and she says this exhibit reflects many of the hotly debated issues in America today. Moss says, "There's lot of work about immigration, about Black Lives Matter, about gender equality, a lot of contemporary issues are here, and I think there's something for everyone, everyone will find a way to relate to this exhibition."

A painting by Amy Sherald of Baltimore titled "Miss Everything,"  won first place in the competition and a 25-thousand dollar cash prize. Boss says, "It depicts a confident young African-American woman who is gazing directly at the viewer holding this surreal, out-sized teacup, the use of color is absolutely spectacular, and she's situated in an other-worldly background --- which you'll see if you get up close to the canvas -- is this sort of beautiful bubbling effect that was created with 2 layers of paint and turpentine."

  The show also features works by 4 Texas artists. One is a  portrait by Ft. Worth painter Sedrick Huckaby.  It's larger than life and the thick swaths of paint he uses give it an almost 3-d effect.  Moss says"He's actually George W. Bush's painting instructor and former President Bush located his works in a gallery in Dallas and contacted Sedrick and said please I want you to teach me how to paint this way. So  his current project "Portraits of Courage" which is on view at the Bush Center now is the result of his work with Sedrick Huckaby." 

Another large painting by Rigoberto Gonzalez of Harlingen is done in the classical style of Velasquez --- the 17th-century Spanish painter master --- but it deals with very contemporary issues. Moss says, "He makes works about drug cartels, and border crossings and these are people he knows depicted with a young woman who helped them cross the border."

The exhibition will be on view from now until September 10th, and you should really take the opportunity to see it. The Art Museum of South Texas is the only one in the southwestern U.S. that was selected to host the exhibition on it's first cross-country tour. For more information on g on tickets and museum hours just go to the museum website at http://artmuseumofsouthtexas.org

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