The call for entries for the third iteration of The Bennett Prize is now open. The prize awards $50,000 to a woman artist to create her own solo exhibition of figurative realist paintings that will travel the country. For the first time, a runner-up award of $10,000 will be given to one additional finalist. Women figurative realist painters are cordially invited to submit their work.

The Bennett Prize was founded by art collectors, curators, and philanthropists Steven Alan Bennett and Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt. It seeks to propel the careers of women figurative realist painters who have not yet realized full professional recognition, thereby empowering new artists as well as those who have painted for many years.

The call for entries for the 2023 Bennett Prize is open from April 18–October 7, 2022. After a month-and-a-half of deliberation, the jury will select 10 finalists. The winners will be announced on May 18, 2023, at the opening reception for the finalists’ exhibition at the Muskegon Museum of Art in Michigan, which will host the exhibition through early September. The show will then travel the country for two years.

Bennett Prize 2 Winner: Ayana Ross, “SWBAT” (2020), oil on canvas, 60″ x 48″

The Bennett Prize is awarded by a four-member jury. This year’s jurors include artists Julie Bell and Zoey Frank; Joseph Rosa, CEO and director of the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington; and Steven Bennett, co-founder of the prize. The jury will select 10 painters from among the entrants and from those 10, one winner and one runner up.

The prize is intended to help level the playing field for women artists. Works by women artists are collected and shown less frequently by galleries and museums and, when they are purchased, the prices paid are typically far less than those paid to artists who are men.

From the first two iterations of The Bennett Prize, the 18 finalists and two winners have seen up to a 45% increase in the prices they command for their work, more than 100 paintings sold, eight gallery representations, 19 solo shows, and 46 group shows. Through The Bennett Prize, these 20 women artists have been featured in more than 30 published stories, 250 advertisements, and 2,500 social media posts.

The Bennett Prize is not open to hobbyists or students; artists whose work has been sold for $25,000 or more; or artists who have received an award, prize, or other recognition for their art in that amount or more.

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Bennett Prize 2 Finalist: Chloe Chiasson, “A New Dawn (2021), oil, acrylic, resin, wood, and a match, on canvas, 78.25″ x 96″ (image courtesy the Hort Family Collection)
Bennett Prize 2 Finalist: Holly Keogh, “More Charming, More Vague” (2020), oil on canvas, 2020, 52.5″ x 71.5″
Bennett Prize 2 Finalist: Rebecca Orcutt, “Talking About Leaving” (2021), oil on canvas, 60″ x 72″

The Pittsburgh Foundation and the Muskegon Museum of Art are proud partners of The Bennett Prize®.

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