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Aneka Ingold, "Aberration", Mixed media on vinyl, 2015, Courtesy of RJD Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY

The Bennett Prize® winner — Aneka Ingold

Have you seen the Rising Voices exhibition at RPM? Rising Voices: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters, organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art and The Pittsburgh Foundation — is a celebration of women’s voices and the enduring power of the figure in the visual arts. The stipend/grant-in-aid award ($50,000) founded by art collectors Steven Bennett and Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt is given biennially to a woman painter whose principal focus is figurative painting in a realistic style. Rising Voices: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters features the paintings of the ten 2019 finalists, including the winner, Aneka Ingold.

Ingold’s figures are always female, an amalgamation of her own experiences and the stories of her family, friends, and the women that have shaped her life. Of her work, she states:

The unique physical capabilities of the female body are profound and empowering, but man has for centuries seen sexuality and procreation as a duty, not a right. Women are expected to play mother and caretaker, to be meek and obedient. However, being a woman exceeds roles defined by physiology and past social constructs. In this struggle to move beyond the constraints of tradition, society defines women in other ways, categorizing them as a feminist or not, a liberal or conservative or gay or straight or a virgin or a whore - and the list goes on. These labels are inherently limiting. As a counter, I look to individual experiences and how they allow a woman to see her world.

My art is a way for me to understand the woman I am and the woman I want to become. I am liberated in revealing the pain and confusion of my experience. Through brutal honesty about the struggles and triumphs of womanhood, I search for healing and a re-definition of the self. 

Learn more about the artists in the exhibition now through August 2, 2020.

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July 10, 2020


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