The Orlando Museum of Art’s Latest Exhibition: The Outwin

Now through October 8.

Paula Gillen, Taishya, Riding High over the Ocean of Storms (From the series “Superpower Women in Space” ), 2019

Here’s a know-before-you-go tip for you: Before you step out the door, be sure you have paid attention to every single word in the title of the touring exhibit that’s on display at the Orlando Museum of Art from now through October 8.

It’s called “The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today. “

That last word we highlighted is your clue that this exhibit is anything but a stuffy homage to eras gone by, when every American citizen who rated having their portrait done likely had a title or two, a powdered wig on,  and a few pages already laid out for them in the history books.



Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Anthony Cuts under the Williamsburg Bridge, Morning, 2020

The exhibit, one of the most exciting touring artistic displays to turn up at the museum in years, is a cutting-edge tribute to both contemporary portrait artists and their wide-ranging subjects. As orchestrated by the Smithsonian Institute’s National Portrait Gallery every three years, it’s the results of a tri-annual competition funded by a bequest from a former Smithsonian docent, Virginia Outwin Boochever, who wanted to foster the works of modern-day artists intent on capturing real people of this country in all its modern, multicultural abundance.


The 42 works in the touring exhibit include paintings, photographs, drawings, videos, textiles and sculptures along those lines, including the spectacular, “best of show” creation by Alison Elizabeth Taylor – a multi-layered composition combining paints, layered veneers, and inkjet prints.


Kh ánh H. Lê , She Waited for Her Family From this Point in Place, 2021

21greene532Taylor, a Brooklyn resident, stumbled onto the subject of her work when she encountered a barber named Anthony Payne who had set up an ingenious open-air hair cuttery underneath the Williamsburg Bridge when his shop had to close during the Covid epidemic.

In its own updated way, the winning image is, ironically, a bit of a throwback – a creation that blends the past with the present. There’s nothing quite like a timeless tribute to good, old-fashioned American ingenuity.

Categories: Art & Entertainment