Chicago photographer Sandra Steinbrecher stands before her work, "Frontline, March for Our Lives, Chicago"

Sandra Steinbrecher Photograph on Display at Smithsonian Exhibition

A powerful photograph by Chicago-based Sandra Steinbrecher—a friend and collaborator of Alain Locke Charter School—is now on display at the world-renowned Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Steinbrecher’s photo, “Frontline, March for Our Lives, Chicago,” was one of just 46 entries selected among 2,600 submissions for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.

“The Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today” invited artists living and working in the United States and Puerto Rico to submit drawings, paintings, photography, sculpture and other media that respond “to the current political and social context,” according to the Smithsonian website.

'Frontline, March for Our Lives, Chicago,' by Sandra Steinbrecher
‘Frontline, March for Our Lives, Chicago,’ by Sandra Steinbrecher

Steinbrecher’s submission to the 2019 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition depicts three young activists who gathered at the March for Our Lives event in Chicago on March 24, 2018.

March for Our Lives is the nationwide student-led movement calling for legislation to prevent gun violence that was organized following the February 2018 mass shooting that occurred at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

March for Our Lives’s Chicago event “was a breathtaking display of activism and painted a hopeful, inspiring portrait of the promise and potential of our future,” Steinbrecher said.

Speaking on her photograph, she explained, “One young man looked directly at me, and I felt a deep human connection as I shot this frame.”

Just one week prior to the debut of her work at the Smithsonian, Steinbrecher had the opportunity to meet with the young people in her photograph. All three activists are now high school seniors at Chicago Public Schools.

Steinbrecher poses with the activists she photographed in 'Frontline, March for Our Lives, Chicago'
Steinbrecher poses with the activists she photographed in ‘Frontline, March for Our Lives, Chicago’

Steinbrecher, whose work largely focuses on documenting the lives of young people in Chicago, has captured Alain Locke Charter School through her photography with CPS Lives, a nonprofit organization that aligns Chicago artists with Chicago Public Schools to portray each school’s distinct story.

“Frontline, March for Our Lives, Chicago” can be seen on display at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. through August 2020.

For more information on The Outwin 2019, visit:

For more information on Sandra Steinbrecher, visit:

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