Committed to promoting women figurative painters and their work, Steven Alan Bennett and Elaine Melotti Schmidt, themselves collectors of figurative paintings of women by women, established The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters. Beginning in 2014, the couple worked with artists, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and the Muskegon Museum of Art in Michigan to launch this biennial prize that selects 10 finalists in a juried competition, gives one of them a $50,000 cash award and creates a traveling exhibition of the finalists’ work that travels the United States. By propelling the careers of talented women figurative painters who have not yet realized full professional recognition, both new artists and those who have painted for many years, the Prize will encourage women painters to take their place among the most celebrated painters, often men, in the art world today.