Tampa artist Aneka Ingold is one of 10 finalists for The Bennett Prize

The $50,000 prize will go to one figurative realist painter to create a solo exhibit.

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click to enlarge Tampa painter Aneka Ingold is one of 10 finalists for the Bennett prize, a national art contest for women artists who paint. - Aneka Ingold
Aneka Ingold
Tampa painter Aneka Ingold is one of 10 finalists for the Bennett prize, a national art contest for women artists who paint.

More than 600 painters applied, and now the contest comes down to 10. Aneka Ingold, a Tampa painter, could win the $50,000 Bennett Prize, awarded to women figurative realist painters.

Jurors chose Ingold and nine other women from 647 artists. The Prize, in its first year, gets support from the Pittsburgh Foundation, which is endowed by Steven Alan Bennett (hence the name) and Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt.

According to a press release, "this first-of-its-kind prize is designed to propel the careers of women artists" and is also the largest purse ever awarded to a female painter.

The finalists' works will be on exhibit at the Muskegon Museum of Art in Michigan, starting May 2, where the winner will be named. Following the Michigan opening, the exhibition will tour the country.

A jury of four selected the finalists, each of whom will receive $1,000. The winner will receive two annual installments of $25,000; in exchange, she will create a solo exhibition of her figurative realist paintings that will open at the Muskegon, then tour the country.

Other finalists include Dorille Caimi (Santa Fe, New Mexico); Jennifer Campbell (Washington, D.C.); Kira Nam Greene (Brooklyn, New York); Mary Henderson, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania); Stephanie Jackson (Athens, Georgia); Daniela Kovacic (Evanston, Illinois); Rebecca Leveille (Amherst, Massachusetts); Jenny Morgan (Brooklyn, New York); and Carrie Pearce (Peoria, Illinois).

The benefactors — who have endowed a total of $3 million so that the prize can get awarded every two years for... well, forever — did so because they believe figurative realism is a style that can help people better parse issues about gender and race.

“More people should be seeing the important figurative realist paintings that women are creating. These painters have much to say at a time when we’re struggling to understand human differences, including gender and race,” Bennett says.


About The Author

Cathy Salustri

Cathy's portfolio includes pieces for Visit Florida, USA Today and regional and local press. In 2016, UPF published Backroads of Paradise, her travel narrative about retracing the WPA-era Florida driving tours that was featured in The New York Times. Cathy speaks about Florida history for the Osher Lifelong Learning...
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