From Theme-Park Caricatures to the Smithsonian

Stanley Rayfield grew up in Richmond, where he spent his summers drawing caricatures at Kings Dominion, the local theme park. Now, he has a painting in the National Portrait Gallery.

The 21-year-old artist submitted an intimate portrait of his diabetic father—wearing an eye patch and oxygen tubes, and leaning on a cane, his shirt open and exposing a scar on his chest—to the Portrait Gallery’s second annual Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. The competition invited all professional artists to enter a portrait—self, or of a friend, stranger or relative—in the form of a painting, drawing, photograph, sculpture, film or digital animation.

"Dad," a painting by Stanley Rayfield. Courtesy of the artist.

The artwork of about 60 of the finalists, selected by a jury this past June, will be included in an exhibition opening this Friday, October 23 and running through August 22, 2010. Rayfield is one of seven artists shortlisted for the $25,000 grand prize and the opportunity to create a portrait of a remarkable living American for the museum’s permanent collection. The winner will be announced tonight.


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