Michelle Obama has chosen 44-year-old Baltimore-based Amy Sherald, a fine artist, to paint a portrait of herself as part of a program run by the National Portrait Gallery, which partners with past presidents and first ladies to paint their portraits at after their terms in office end.
Ms. Sherald is a renowned painter, having won first place, out of 2,500 entrants, in the National Portrait Gallery’s 206 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition with her painting “Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance).” Her work can be seen in the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, and the Columbus Museum in Columbus, Ga., the city where she grew up.
Sherald is not just talented, but is well-educated. She possesses an MFA in painting in 2004 from the Maryland Institute College of Art, which is located in Baltimore. In addition to being a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, Sherald is now on the faculty there.
The painting of Mrs. Obama, along with a portrait of her husband, which will be painted by Los Angeles-based artist Kehinde Wiley, will be unveiled by the Portrait Gallery next year. According to an article on the ledger-enquirer.com site, Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, emphasized, “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. 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.”