The Pittsburgh Foundation has announced the launch of a new biennial award program designed to propel the careers of women artists.
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. The prize is intended to allow the winner to create her own solo exhibition, which will be premiered at the Muskegon (Michigan) Museum of Art and then travel the country.
The prize is designed for women artists who are, or seek to become, full-time professional painters and to expand opportunities for the public to learn more about the creative vision of talented women painters in the increasingly popular style of figurative realism.
A four-member jury, including realist artists Maria Tomasula and Andrea Kowch, will select ten painters from among the entrants. The finalists will each receive $1,000 to participate in an exhibition opening May 2, 2019, at the Muskegon Museum of Art, where the winner will be announced. The winner will receive $25,000 annually for two years so she can devote the time necessary to mount a solo exhibition, which will open in Muskegon in 2021 and then travel the country.
The call for entries runs from April 13 to September 28, 2018.
The prize is not open to hobbyists, students, or artists who have been paid or received an award of $25,000 or more for any single work of art.
See the Bennett Prize website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.