San Diego artist Hugo Crosthwaite wins National Portrait Gallery’s top prize

“A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez,” (2018) by Hugo Crosthwaite
“A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez,” (2018) by Hugo Crosthwaite
(Courtesy image)

Crosthwaite — the first Latinx artist to receive the prestigious award since the competition was launched in 2006 — will receive $25,000 and a commission to create a portrait of a living person for the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection

9:15 AM, Oct. 28, 2019: This story was updated with a quote from the co-curator of the exhibit, Taína Caragol.

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Michael James Rocha is the arts and entertainment editor. He oversees coverage of pop music, classical music, visual art, theater, dance, things to do and dining both for online and print. Rocha started his career at The San Diego Union-Tribune in December 1997 as a features page designer. He eventually became the features design editor, managing a staff of 15 designers and 17 features sections. Through the years, he has done stints as the front page designer, audience development editor and home decor editor. He previously wrote a monthly column on outdoor living, which focused on outdoor decor. Rocha graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications (with an emphasis on print journalism) from California State University-Fullerton in 1994. He has worked as a reporter, copy editor, city editor and designer for numerous Southern California newspapers, including The Orange County Register, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and the Ontario Daily Bulletin. He is one of the founding members of the Asian American Journalists Association’s San Diego chapter and served on the national AAJA board for many years. Until 2017, he taught an upper-level magazine journalism course at Point Loma Nazarene University, where he was an adjunct professor. He also loves dogs.