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Formidable

Formidable

Aneka Ingold
Mixed Media on Paper
72 x 48 inches (L x W)
Aneka Ingold (Tampa, Florida) was the first place winner of the inaugural Bennett Prize®. The figure, both nude and clothed, in Ingold’s surreal environments suggests an archetype or deity, the human center of a language of symbols meant to explore and reveal the experience of being a woman, of her role in history and the future, of her biology and identity, and of what being a woman means to the artist and viewer. Ingold’s nudes are so skillfully rendered their flesh defines a unique physical being, an independent agent outside of the influence of the viewer. This artwork is traveling as part of the "Rising Voices 1: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters" exhibition through July 2021. Contact Art Martin, Senior Curator, Muskegon Museum of Art (the organizing venue) at 231-720-2582 for purchase information.

High-Five

High-Five

Mary Henderson
Oil on Panel
20 x 40 inches (L x W)
Mary Henderson (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was a finalist for the inaugural Bennett Prize®. A sense of community action and shared experiences is central to Henderson's crowd scenes. Within her meticulously rendered paintings, unique individuals gather and interact, both with each other and with a deliberately omitted external event. With the environment replaced by a flat color plane, the event that has brought the figures together can only be interpreted through an examination of the people – their dress, expression, gesture, and other external cues. Winter Coats, with its pink hats and placards under the arms of several figures, appears to show a protest march, while Fervent, with numerous raised arms, suggests a concert or rally. Interpretations of the narratives of Henderson’s paintings are shaped purely by the back and forth ways in which the figures interact and how they are interpreted by the viewer. This artwork is traveling as part of the "Rising Voices 1: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters" exhibition through July 2021. Contact Art Martin, Senior Curator, Muskegon Museum of Art (the organizing venue) at 231-720-2582 for purchase information.

Min and Bill

Min and Bill

Jennifer R.A. Campbell
Oil on Canvas
50 x 60 inches (L x W)
Jennifer R. A. Campbell (Washington, D.C.), a finalist for the inaugural Bennett Prize®, populates her magical yet carefully ordered landscapes with characters from across the cultural spectrum. Clothing, hair, makeup, and the other external symbols we use to communicate are cues to conformity or defiance of expectations within a host of social circles. If we do not recognize these people from our daily lives, indeed might see ourselves, family members, friends, or neighbors within Campbell’s diverse cast, then we know them through various print and electronic media - the news, entertainment, and the personalities and lifestyles of reality TV. Within her mysterious and sometimes wildly dramatic narratives everyone’s quirks are on display. There is no hierarchy, all manners of dress and action are equal, and so those things viewers sees of themselves is no longer the norm, and the “strange” becomes unremarkable. Campbell’s narratives are an equalizer, reminding us that the human condition is frequently absurd, but often only to the beholder. This artwork is traveling as part of the "Rising Voices 1: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters" exhibition through July 2021. Contact Art Martin, Senior Curator, Muskegon Museum of Art (the organizing venue) at 231-720-2582 for purchase information.

Porgy's Lament

Porgy's Lament

Stefanie Jackson
Oil on Canvas
48 x 71 inches (L x W)
Stefanie Jackson (Athens, Georgia) was a finalist for the inaugural Bennett Prize®. History, specifically African American history, provides the inspiration for Stefanie Jackson’s densely filled narrative constructions. Jackson’s works exist as modern day allegorical paintings, drawing their visual cues from African American literature, music, and art to highlight the Black community and past and current struggles for racial and societal justice in America. The painting here is from her Porgy and Bess series, transforming the characters of the groundbreaking opera into modern myths. Her figures are the saints and gods of the Italian and Northern Renaissance relayed through an energetic aesthetic reminiscent of the paintings of the Harlem Renaissance, Southern Folk Art, and the Social Realists of the early 20th century. This artwork is traveling as part of the "Rising Voices 1: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters" exhibition through July 2021. Contact Art Martin, Senior Curator, Muskegon Museum of Art (the organizing venue) at 231-720-2582 for purchase information.

Renee

Renee

Kira Nam Greene
Oil, Acrylic, and Flashe on Canvas
60 x 40 inches (L x W)
Kira Nam Greene (Brooklyn, New York) was a finalist for the inaugural Bennett Prize®. Kira Nam Greene’s paintings come from her "Tribal Council" series. The works utilize the tradition of the portrait of the notable and powerful to celebrate the strength and leadership of women of accomplishment and experience. In Greene’s series, the women are confident and centered, surrounded by images of their lives woven through flat, decorative patterns that speak to a shared visual language of the Pattern and Decoration Movement (a feminist abstract art movement that looked to non-Western and feminine motifs as a direct response to Western male dominated modernism). Greene blends communal female identity with individual history and expertise, alluding to what can be accomplished when women join together in common purpose. This artwork is traveling as part of the "Rising Voices 1: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters" exhibition through July 2021. Contact Art Martin, Senior Curator, Muskegon Museum of Art (the organizing venue) at 231-720-2582 for purchase information.

Shadow Sister

Shadow Sister

Jenny Morgan
Oil on Canvas
38 x 26 inches (L x W)
Jenny Morgan (Brooklyn, New York), a finalist for the inaugural Bennett Prize®, works primarily with the nude, her non-idealized flesh the vehicle through which the emotional states of the subject are revealed. Monochromatic backgrounds, unexpected colors, blurring and swiping, and the reduction, most often of hands and arms, to flat, almost ghostly appendages creates a sense of the ethereal and symbolic and dramatically contrasts the deft skill with which she establishes the illusion of fully dimensional forms. Combined with the direct, unblinking gaze of her sitters (establishing the viewer as a mirror through which they study themselves) this push and pull of the real and ethereal confronts the viewer with the open, emotional, and mysterious self. . This artwork is traveling as part of the "Rising Voices 1: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters" exhibition through July 2021. Contact Art Martin, Senior Curator, Muskegon Museum of Art (the organizing venue) at 231-720-2582 for purchase information.

Snap/Acrobat

Snap/Acrobat

Rebecca Léveillé
Oil on Canvas with Gold Leaf
30 x 48 inches (L x W)
Rebecca Léveillé (Amherst, Massachusetts) was a finalist for the inaugural Bennett Prize®. Léveillé’s figures are flagrantly sexual, a vibrant celebration and challenge of the pop culture influences that define how our society establishes and transmits ideas of beauty, sexuality, gender, love, and romance. In a style informed by classic pin-up art and fantasy illustration (in which she made her earlier career) Léveillé exaggerates symbols of love and sex towards a search for the female gaze within a visual culture dominated in the past by the desires of men. This artwork is traveling as part of the "Rising Voices 1: The Bennett Prize® for Women Figurative Realist Painters" exhibition through July 2021. Contact Art Martin, Senior Curator, Muskegon Museum of Art (the organizing venue) at 231-720-2582 for purchase information.

Sojourner I

Sojourner I

Daniela Kovačić Muzio
Oil on Canvas
60 x 48 inches (L x W)
Daniela Kovačić Muzio (Evanston, Illinois) was a finalist for the inaugural Bennett Prize®. Muzio’s quiet interiors are inspired by traditional portraiture, each featuring a tightly rendered, unique individual. She alters the format by repeating the figure at a different moment in time, posed with herself in the act of dressing or undressing. The use of robes and pajamas conveys an immediate intimacy, private garments worn for ease and comfort shared typically only with those closest to them. Rather than a sense of voyeurism however, her images bear witness to a contemplative stillness, a moment perhaps when the cares and worries of living fill our minds as we enter the day. This artwork is traveling as part of the "Rising Voices 1: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters" exhibition through July 2021. Contact Art Martin, Senior Curator, Muskegon Museum of Art (the organizing venue) at 231-720-2582 for purchase information.

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Dorielle Caimi
Oil on canvas
64 x 40 inches (L x W)
Dorielle Caimi (Santa Fe, New Mexico) was a finalist for the inaugural Bennett Prize®. Caimi’s dynamically rendered subjects are realized with a skill that makes their flesh tangible. Their raw and honest nudity becomes the summation of the self, speaking to vulnerability and openness, a bold declaration of all they are experiencing in this moment - a captivating and sometimes frantic blend of internal joys, anxieties, struggles, and triumphs. While sexuality remains a part of the mix — hot pink nipples, erect penises, and rainbow colored genitals are hard to miss — the figures remain their own, to be seen, but not possessed. This artwork is traveling as part of the "Rising Voices 1: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters" exhibition through July 2021. Contact Art Martin, Senior Curator, Muskegon Museum of Art at (the organizing venue) at 231-720-2582 for purchase information.