2017 The Art of the Portrait Conference – The Finalist Display Room

by Matthew Innis |

At each The Art of the Portrait conference, a room is set aside to display the paintings, drawings, and sculptures of that year’s finalists.  The room is open to attendees throughout the conference so that they, as well as the judges, can see the works in person.

During the 19th annual conference – held in Atlanta – the display room was the hotel’s library which had been outfitted with panels and lighting designed by chairman of the Portrait Society of America, Edward Jonas, who has professional experience designing museum installations.  All of the finalist’s pieces were there, including some very large sculptures that had to be shipped in from quite far away. At night a security guard was stationed outside the library to make sure the artwork remained safe during the off hours.

On the evening of the first full day of the conference, attendees have the opportunity to meet the artists behind the works, and to ask them questions about their art and their motivations.

Caleb O’Connor talking to one of the attendees during the finalists’ Meet and Greet

Caleb O’Connor’s sculpture, Deontay Wilder, Heavyweight Boxing Champion.

Sookyi Lee, Bridget (detail)

Melinda Whitmore, Suspension.

Paul Newton checking the lighting on his self-portrait, Dark Night of the Soul.

Paul Newton, Dark Night of the Soul (detail).

Ming Yu, In Bvlag.

Tracy Ference standing with her pastel painting, This is Marshall.

Tracy Ference, This is Marshall (detail).

Anna Rose Bain talking to some of the attendees during the Meet and Greet.

David Kassan, Love and Resilience (detail).

David Kassan, Love and Resilience (detail).

David Kassan, Love and Resilience (detail).

David Kassan, Love and Resilience (detail).


Stephen Perkins, Henry Hensche Memorial.

Caleb O’Connor

Caleb O’Connor and his his sculpture of Deontay Wilder.

Anna Rose Bain with the portrait of her daughter titled A Fleeting Moment.

Anna Rose Bain, A Fleeting Moment (detail).

Matteo Caloiaro, Juli’s Kitchen (detail).

Johanna Harmon, Messengers.

Johanna Harmon, Messengers (detail).

Casey Childs, Take These Broken Wings (detail).

Jennifer Welty, Presley (detail).

Mary Sauer, Caitlin (detail).

Brooke Olivares, The Purple Orchid (detail).

Susan Wakeen, Marcy.

Susan Wakeen answering questions about her sculpture, Marcy.

Anna Rose Bain


Chung-Wei Chien, Watching (detail).

John Borowicz, Abby (detail).

Seth Haverkamp, Fireflies (blurry detail).

Pramod Kurlekar, Determination (detail).

Gregory Mortenson, The Butterfly Effect (detail).

Ricky Mujica, Father (detail).

Shuhai Cao, A Bunch of Roses (detail).

Greg Mortenson examining Shuhai Cao’s sculpture.

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