The Bennett Prize

COMPLETE RULES FOR ENTRY The Bennett Prize: Propelling the Careers of Women Figurative Realist Painters

Exhibition Dates

May 2 – Sept. 8, 2019

Call for Entries

Apr. 13 – Sept. 28, 2018

About The Prize

The Bennett Prize is a stipend/grant-in-aid program established by American art collectors Steven Alan Bennett and Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt, to support the fine art practice of a woman painter working in figurative realism. The Bennett Prize, administered by The Pittsburgh Foundation, is awarded biennially, and provides $25,000 annually over two consecutive years to the winning artist. Ten (10) finalists will each receive $1,000 to participate in a traveling exhibition organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art (MMA) in Michigan, and the winner will be showcased in a solo exhibition at the close of her grant.


The Bennett Prize is open only to living women artists who:

  • Are eighteen (18) years or older.
  • Reside in the United States, at least part of the year.
  • Will submit work (and work for any exhibition) that does NOT have to cross an international border to reach Muskegon Museum of Art.
  • Have primary practice as the creation of original paintings in the genre of figurative realism.
  • Are currently pursuing, or intend to pursue, a career as a full-time painter.

Those who are NOT eligible for The Bennett Prize are:

  • Artists who will be full-time or part-time students while receiving the proceeds of The Prize.
  • Artists who have received a prior award of $25,000 or more or sold any single work of art for $25,000 or more.

To be considered for The Bennett Prize, artists must participate in the exhibition of finalists. Artists must have works available for exhibition and travel from Feb. 1, 2019 through at least the end of 2021.



Entry is digital, through the CaFÉ website.  Free registration for the CaFÉ website is required. Artists should submit no fewer than three (3) and no more than five (5) artworks and one detail, for a total of four (4) to six (6) images.

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The deadline for entry is Sept. 28, 2018.

Number of Entries

Each artist must submit at least three (3) and as many as five (5) paintings for consideration by jurors. In addition, all entrants must also include one (1) detail image that demonstrates her craft and technique. Entries that do not include a minimum of three (3) pieces and one (1) detail will not be considered.

Digital Entry

Digital image files must conform to the requirements as listed on the CaFÉ website. Be sure to supply the title, media, and dimensions of your entries. Incomplete entries will not be reviewed by the jury.

Eligible Entries

All entries must be traditional paintings, which is defined as paint upon a two-dimensional surface. Mixed media pieces will be considered, as long as paint is the primary material. Paintings must depict representational images of one or more figures. Paintings rendered over the top of photographic images are NOT eligible. Only original works completed in the past five (5) years are eligible.


Please read the Entry FAQs, or call the Muskegon Museum of Art at 231-720-2582.


Artists will be notified of the jury results by email no later than Nov. 12, 2018.


Accepted artists must provide images and details for a minimum of four (4) paintings available for exhibition no later than Dec. 7, 2018 to maintain their eligibility. Finalists will be notified by Dec. 21, 2018 regarding which paintings to send for exhibition. Artworks must arrive at MMA no later than Feb. 2, 2019, and be available for travel through 2021. Depending on scale, one (1) or more paintings will be selected from each of the ten (10) finalists. If the artworks submitted for jurying are not available, works submitted for exhibition must be representative of the juried pieces. Available paintings that deviate substantially in quality or theme from the juried works will not be considered, and the accepted finalist will be disqualified and replaced with an alternate. To be considered for exhibition, paintings must meet the following criteria.

Exhibition Criteria

Paintings or multi-panel pieces cannot exceed 6 feet wide by 6 feet high when installed. All hanging works should be framed and fitted with wire, D-Rings or a cleat. Entries must be dry, completely assembled, framed, matted or mounted. All works on paper must be framed and glazed. Work requiring special handling or installation will be accepted only at the MMA’s discretion. Unsuitably prepared, hazardous, unstable or extremely fragile works will be declined. If you are unsure about your work conforming to these conditions, please email Art Martin at before entering.


Finalists will receive a $1,000 stipend to assist with shipping and travel. Artwork must arrive at MMA by Feb. 2, 2019. All incoming and outgoing packing and shipping costs are the responsibility of the artist. Ship or hand-deliver to:

Attn: Art Martin
Muskegon Museum of Art, 296 W .Webster Ave., Muskegon, MI 49440
Phone: 231-720-2582

Entry Fee

The fee for entry is $50. Refunds cannot be provided after entry. No refunds will be given for ineligible or disqualified entries, so please read all terms carefully before applying.

Art Sales

All accepted work is eligible for sale through the MMA Store. The MMA commission is 40 percent, and must be included in the purchase price. Work offered for sale will be sold as exhibited, and delivered to the purchaser by the MMA at the close of the exhibition period. It is the responsibility of the artist to resolve any issues as relates to gallery or agent representation if they choose to have their work(s) for sale.


Catalogue: The Pittsburgh Foundation and MMA will publish a full -color catalogue in conjunction with the exhibition featuring the artwork of the ten (10) finalists. Artists are required to submit biographical materials and an artist statement for inclusion. The MMA will handle all photography.


All artworks submitted for exhibition will be insured by MMA while in its possession and during the travel of the exhibition. Artists must submit insurance values upon delivery of the art to the MMA. Artists are responsible for insurance during transport to and from MMA at the opening and close of the exhibition, the MMA WILL NOT insure works while in the possession of the artist or commercial carriers on their behalf.


Participating artists will be required to sign a loan agreement with the MMA. Submitting a work of art to this exhibition implies agreement on the part of the artist with all stated conditions.


The MMA assumes the privilege of photographing or using any work submitted for consideration for the purpose of the catalogue, publicity, or education. In addition, permission to reproduce in the catalogue is a condition of eligibility.

The Bennett Prize

The winning artist, after being confirmed for eligibility, will enter into a separate agreement with The Pittsburgh Foundation to govern the two (2) years over which the proceeds of The Prize will be paid. In addition to the $50,000 over two (2) years, the artist will also be featured in a solo exhibition at MMA. The agreement between the winning artist and The Pittsburgh Foundation will contain a requirement that all  work created by the winning artist during the two (2) years must be in the United States and available for exhibition at the conclusion of The Prize period.


A panel of four jurors will adjudicate The Bennett Prize from the submitted entries.

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