The University of Tampa’s Scarfone/Hartley Gallery will be amplifying the work of women painters in their group exhibition Rising Voices: Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters opening Aug. 28. The Bennett Prize is an inaugural art prize funded by Steven Bennett and Elaine Melotti Schmidt specifically awarded to women figurative realist painters, with a hefty $50,000 purse. The 10 2019 finalists will be exhibited along with the winner, Aneka Ingold, a Tampa artist who teaches part-time at UT.
PITTSBURGH, April 16, 2020 – Talented women painters looking to take their figurative realist work to the next level are invited to apply for the $50,000 Bennett Prize, the largest offered solely to women painters.
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.
Berks County arts organizations have formed a partnership to make sure female artists in every genre, from local to international, are recognized throughout this special year with a Celebration of Women in the Arts. According to David Gross, executive director of the RSO, the idea for the celebration began with the Bennett Prize, created by San Antonio art collectors Steven and Elaine Bennett, whom Gross met and befriended during his years as CEO of the San Antonio Symphony.
Rising Voices: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters
The exhibit features artwork by female artists, including the first-ever Bennett Prize winner, Aneka Ingold of Florida.