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SDSU art professor and artist Neil Shigley’s portrait, "Michael 59," will be displayed in at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. March 23, 2013 through Feb. 23, 2014.

Shigley’s work was selected as a finalist in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition and sent to Washington D.C. where it will be included in the tri-ennial exhibition. "Michael 59" was selected as one of 48 works from more than 3,000 entries in a variety of visual arts media. The juried exhibition of portraits includes works created from both traditional media like oil paintings, drawings and photographs as well as more surprising materials such as rice, glitter, thread and video.

Tragedy in art

Shigley’s work focuses on what many people choose to ignore: the human tragedy of homelessness. "Michael 59" is one of more than 20 portraits that Shigley has created of San Diego’s homeless.

“I capture the faces of people that we don’t see,” Shigley said. “It’s good to know that work will be seen by so many people.”

About the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition

The winner of the National Portrait Gallery’s third Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition will receive the grand prize of $25,000 and a commission to create a portrait of a living individual for the museum’s permanent collection. The public will have an opportunity to vote for its favorite work among the finalists through the People's Choice Award.

Virginia Outwin Boochever (1920–2005) was a docent at the National Portrait Gallery. Appreciation of art was a lifelong interest: as a young woman she had studied art at the graduate level, and she and her husband were enthusiastic collectors.

Always interested in people, Boochever saw the endowment of a portrait competition at the National Portrait Gallery as a way to benefit artists directly.


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