The Bennett Prize
Aneka Ingold [Round 1 Winner], Detail of Tributary , 2018. Mixed media on paper, 50 x 40 in. View
Daniela Kovacic Muzio [Round 1 Finalist], Detail of Ani, 2018. Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in. View
Jennifer R.A. Campbell [Round 1 Finalist], Detail of Candy Puzzlebox, 2017. Oil on panel, 14 x 14 in. View
Carrie Pearce [Round 1 Finalist], Detail of Joy Ride, 2017. Oil on panel, 30 x 40 in. View
Jenny Morgan [Round 1 Finalist], Detail of Shadow Sister, 2016. Oil on canvas, 38 x 26 x 2 in. View
Kira Nam Greene [Round 1 Finalist], Detail of Barbara at Cafe Folies-Bergere, 2018. Oil, flashe, acrylic and xerox transfer on canvas, 50 x 50 in. View
Mary Henderson [Round 1 Finalist], Detail of Fervent, 2017. Oil on panel, 20 x 40 in. View
Stephanie Jackson [Round 1 Finalist], Detail of Joy Inside My Tears, 2016. Oil on canvas, 48 x 77 in. View
Rebecca Leveille [Round 1 Finalist], Detail ofThe Panel Discussion (The Lovers), 2018. Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 in. View

The Bennett Prize, created in 2018, awards $50,000 to a woman artist to create her own solo exhibition of figurative realist paintings, which then travels the country. The Prize propels the careers of women painters who have not yet realized full professional recognition, empowering new artists and those who have painted for many years. The Prize expands opportunities for the public, who may not be familiar with figurative realist painting, to learn more about the creative vision of talented women painters in this increasingly popular genre. In 2018, the inaugural year of The Prize, there were 647 entries. In 2020, the second round of The Prize, there were 674 entries. 



Recent News

News Release

Bennett Prize goes to painter Ayana Ross

Muskegon, Michigan (May 27, 2021)–  Painter Ayana Ross, of McDonough, Georgia, has won the prestigious 2021 Bennett Prize. Ross’s work explores identity and cultural awareness in the everyday lives of African Americans in the American South.

Ross will be awarded $50,000, giving her the opportunity to create new work in the figurative realist style for a solo exhibition that ultimately will travel the country. The Bennett Prize is the largest prize offered solely to women figurative painters.


Reigning (raining?) confusion: what is figurative realism?

As co-founders of The Bennett Prize for Women “Figurative Realists,” Doctor Schmidt and I often confront confusion about the meaning of “figurative realism,” especially among would-be contestants. “My work is too abstract,” one will say, while another says “the Bennetts only support photorealism,” and a third says “the Bennett Prize seeks only depictions of nudes.” Of course, all of this is incorrect, but you can hardly blame the authors of these observations, as the lack of understanding of the term “figurative realism” is extensive.