San Diego artist Hugo Crosthwaite was named the first-prize winner in a prestigious nationwide competition by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

Crosthwaite is the first Latinx artist to win the triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, which was established in 2006 to encourage artists living in the United States to create work that challenges the definition of portraiture.

His prize-winning stop-motion drawing animation, “A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez,” recounts a woman’s journey from Tijuana to the United States in pursuit of the American dream.

In announcing the competition winners on Friday, the Smithsonian said Crosthwaite will receive $25,000 and a commission to create a portrait of a living individual for the national museum’s permanent collection

Artist Hugo Crosthwaite paints a mural at Liberty Station. Photo by Chris Stone

Crosthwaite’s winning artwork will be on view in Washington with nearly 50 portraits by the finalists in the competition.

This year’s competition received more than 2,600 submissions from 14 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Five of the seven prize winners are from California.

Crosthwaite was born in Tijuana in 1971 and grew up in Rosarito. He graduated from San Diego State University in 1997 with a degree in applied arts and sciences.

The artist currently lives and works between Southern California and Tijuana. His work has been shown in numerous collective exhibitions throughout the United States and Mexico.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.