Smithsonian Commissions MICA Faculty Amy Sherald '04 for Michelle Obama Portrait

Last week, Amy Sherald '04 (LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting M.F.A.), who recently joined MICA's Painting faculty as the McMillan/Stewart Endowed Chair, was announced as one of two artists commissioned to paint the official portraits of former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama for the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

Sherald, whose painting Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance) was the first-prize winner of the Portrait Gallery's 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, will paint former First Lady Michelle Obama's portrait, and Kehinde Wiley will paint former President Barack Obama's portrait. Sherald and Wiley are the first African-American artists commissioned by the Smithsonian to paint presidential portraits, and their portraits will join the Gallery's permanent collection of approximately 1,600 presidential portraits. The works will go on display at the museum in early 2018.

"The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former President and First Lady," said Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, in a statement. "Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century."

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Photo courtesy Amy Sherald.