The Bennett Prize


In The Headlines

This New $50k Prize Is Just for Emerging Female Figurative Painters

San Antonio-based patrons Steven Alan Bennett and Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt have been contemplating how to support female artists for almost a decade, since they first began collecting art. This spring, they founded the Bennett Prize, which Bennett hopes will give female figurative painters “more flexibility to focus on their work” and “more visibility.”


In The Headlines

Visions of Venus - Venus' Visions | Part 2

With nine artists across six time zones this episode is a great snapshot of the global village that is the figurative art community. Back in August of 2017 Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt was on the podcast talking about an open call for an exhibition she was curating called, “Visions of Venus / Venus’ Visions.”

In The Headlines

Pittsburgh Foundation Launches $50,000 Prize for Women Painters

Endowed by art collectors Steven Alan Bennett and Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt with a $3 million gift, the $50,000 Bennett Prize will spotlight women artists who paint in the figurative realist style and who have not yet achieved full professional recognition — both new artists and those who have painted for many years. 

Philanthropy News Digest

In The Headlines

San Antonio couple endows $50,000 award for female painters

A mutual interest in art helped bring San Antonio collectors Steven Alan Bennett and Elaine Melotti Schmidt together. Now they are putting that shared passion to work to benefit others. The couple have endowed the Bennett Prize, a $50,000 biennial award that will be given to female artists who specialize in figurative realist imagery and have not yet received full professional recognition.

San Antonio News-Express

In The Headlines

Power to Women in the Arts, Here and Elsewhere

A San Antonio couple, art collectors Steven Alan Bennett and Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt, will begin the  inaugural Bennett Prize, the largest prize offered solely to women painters (painting in the figurative realist style). The winner will receive $25,000 annually for two years. 


In The Headlines

$50,000 prize aims to increase opportunities for female artists in male-dominated field

The Pittsburgh Foundation has established The Bennett Prize to recognize and encourage emerging women artists who paint in the figurative realist style. The biennial award comprises $50,000 and a solo museum exhibition. Art collectors Steven Alan Bennett and Elaine Melotti Schmidt of San Antonio, Texas, endowed a $3 million fund at The Pittsburgh Foundation to ensure that The Prize will be awarded every two years in perpetuity.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette