The Ackland Art Museum is honored to be the final destination of a portraiture exhibition from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
The Outwin: American Portraiture Today represents winners from the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, a triennial event that showcases contemporary art. The exhibition will run until August 26.
Museum patron Lisa Many said she came out to the exhibition to support the arts.
“We heard the winner was the same person who did Michelle Obama’s portrait,” Many said. “I think it’s pretty relevant, timely.”
Amy Sherald, the winner of the 2016 competition, was recently commissioned by Michelle Obama to paint her official portrait which hangs in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Her portrait featured in the Outwin exhibition titled “Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance)” explores themes of feminine expectations for young African American girls. Sherald’s art is no stranger to the Ackland. Her first solo exhibition was featured at UNC’s Sonya Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History in 2011. Sherald returned to Chapel Hill for a press event on June 1.
“She exudes confidence and energy; it was wonderful to work with her," said Audrey Shore, the communications associate for the Ackland. "She’s very genuine and generous with her time.”
Peter Nisbet, the deputy director for curatorial affairs for the Ackland, said the museum felt lucky in that they had committed to present the exhibition before Amy Sherald won the commission to paint Michelle Obama as her official portraitist.
“We were convinced of the quality of the exhibition long before that happened,” he said.