Cleveland Museum of Art Looks to Create a Self-Portrait of Northeast Ohio

IMAGE: Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art would like Northeast Ohioans to help create one of the largest "selfies" on record.  As a part of its 100th anniversary, the art museum launched the Clevelanders: Portraits of Our Community project, this week, asking area residents to create portraits of themselves or family members or friends through photography, painting, sculpture --- or any other medium. The museum's Seema Rao  says all entries will be accepted.

"Nobody's judging these," Rao says.  "It's not as if they have to be good enough to be in there. You should feel good about what you submit."

Rao encourages people to model their portraits based on an existing piece of art in the collection.  Maybe you want to emulate a Picasso or a Matisse hanging on the wall.  Or use the Thinker or a Hindu god as your inspiration.  

"The other inspiration is that our collection has a lot of portraits," she adds. "We collected a lot of portraits, because we felt that was an important way to start a museum; some of our earliest accessions are portraits. And so, it's also the "idea" of portraits that we want people to remember."

Rao says entries can be submitted through Instagram or e-mail (details below). Organizers are hoping to collect at least 1,916 portraits in honor of the year that the museum opened its doors. The assembled images will be displayed in a special Instagram gallery, creating a mosaic of  the Greater Cleveland community.

There are a number of ways you can submit portraits:

• Use the hashtag #CMAPortraits

• Tag the museum directly on Instagram @PortraitsofClevelanders

• E-mail your image to

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