Rising Voices: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realists

May 2 through September 8, 2019

The Bennett Prize

The Exhibition and the Prize

They Pass By Singing
Oil on canvas, 2018
48 x 72 inches

In collaboration with Steven Alan Bennett, Elaine M. Schmidt, Ed.D., and The Pittsburgh Foundation, the Muskegon Museum of Art is honored to present the Rising Voices: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realists, the inaugural award and exhibition for The Bennett Prize. A stipend/grant-in-aid award, the $50,000 Bennett Prize is given biennially to a woman painter whose principal focus is figurative painting. The Bennett Prize seeks to encourage the pursuit of figurative realism by women painters and provides support over two years to a painter whose work demonstrates excellence in the genre.

The Finalists

Mixed media on paper, 2018
72 x 48 inches

Rising Voices features 29 works by the ten finalists, presenting a vibrant array of subjects and themes. These ten artists were chosen from a field of 647 entrants from across the United States. Their paintings were selected for technical excellence, emotive and conceptually expressive qualities, and for the ability of their artists to tell stories that address the timeless and contemporary issues facing not only women, but society as a whole. Click HERE to see images of the artists and one of each of their works that will be in the exhibition.

PRESS RELEASE: 10 finalists announced for $50,000 Bennett Prize

The Future

Winter Coats
Oil on panel, 2017
12×24 inches
Courtesy of Lyons Wier Gallery, NYC

The founders and the organizers of The Bennett Prize hope that it will elevate women in the visual arts and inspire a new generation of artists to make representational paintings that are culturally and critically relevant and engaging.

After opening at the MMA, Rising Voices will tour nationally. A full-color catalogue with images of the works of the ten finalists and ten additional honor mention recipients accompanies the show.





Opening Event | Thursday, May 2

Meet the artists and jurors at a public reception on May 2, 2019, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. The $50,000 Prize winner will be announced at a program following the reception.   More information

The Bennett Prize Partners

The Pittsburgh Foundation and the Muskegon Museum of Art

The Pittsburgh Foundation

Muskegon Museum of Art

Exclusive Local Sponsor: Raymond James

Connect with The Bennett Prize on Facebook

91st Michigan Contemporary Art Exhibition Call for Entry

March 5 through July 12, 2019

Artwork entry for the Muskegon Museum of Art 91st Michigan Contemporary Art Exhibition (formerly the annual Regional Exhibition) is now open. Entries will be accepted through July 12, 2019 at the www.callforentry.org (CaFÉ) website.

The Exhibition

The 91st Michigan Contemporary Art Exhibition (formerly the annual Regional Exhibition) continues a rich legacy of showcasing the work of Michigan artists, from talented beginners to accomplished professionals. A competitive show, the Michigan Contemporary presents a look at the issues, themes, and materials inspiring today’s Michigan artists. Featured media will include painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, jewelry, and installation. A visitor favorite, the exhibition engages, challenges, and inspires conversation. The 2019 show runs September 5 through November 13.


Over $5,000 in prizes will be awarded to artists, including $1,500 Best of Show, $1,000 Second Place, and $750 Third Place awards. Additional prizes will be awarded, including purchase awards. (Purchase awards are equal to the stated sale price of the work.)

Artwork Entry Process

All artists 18 years or older residing in Michigan may enter. The entry deadline is July 12, 2019.

The entry process is digital, through the www.callforentry.org (CaFÉ) website.  At the “FIND CALLS” tab, type “Muskegon” in Call Listings search box. Free registration is required. Artists may submit up to two images per artwork, for a total of four images. Submit images for one or two artworks only.

Entry Rules


Number of Entries: Each artist may submit up to two (2) works in any medium. Video entries may not be submitted.

Digital Entry: Digital image files must conform to the requirements as listed on the CaFÉ site. Be sure to supply the title, media, and dimensions of your entries. Incomplete entries will not be juried. Accepted works that differ dramatically from the submitted images or information may be refused at the discretion of MMA staff, so make sure your entry accurately reflects your artwork(s).

Eligible Entries: Only original works completed in the last two years and not previously exhibited at the Muskegon Museum of Art are eligible. Commercial reproductions, including giclée prints, will not be accepted. Traditional print media, photography, and digital art should be from a limited edition. Wall mounted pieces may not exceed 6 feet wide by 12 feet high. Three-dimensional (standing) pieces may not exceed 10 feet high by 6 feet by 6 feet. Only work easily handled by two people will be accepted.

Entry Fee: Artists may submit one OR two works. The fee for entry is $35. MMA Members receive a discounted entry fee of $20. Members should call 231-720-2571 to receive their discount code before entering. Refunds cannot be provided after entry. (MMA Memberships are discounted for artists.)

Notification: Artists will be notified of the jury results by email no later than July 29, 2019. With this notification you will also be provided identification labels to attach to your work.

Art Sales: All accepted work is eligible for sale through the MMA Store. The MMA commission is 30%, and must be included in the purchase price. Work offered for sale will be sold as exhibited. If the work is not for sale, please indicate “0 (zero)” for value on entry form. Price On Requests (PORs) will not be accepted.

Questions? Please call the MMA at 231-720-2575.

About the Juror

Juror Amy Chaloupa

Photo courtesy of Amy Chaloupa

This year’s juror is artist and curator Amy Chaloupka. She received her BFA from Western Washington University and an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has exhibited widely, and created several public works, including permanent installations in Santa Fe, Chicago, and Madison, Wisconsin. Since 2008, Chaloupka has curated more than 15 contemporary exhibitions featuring national and international artists for the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. While there, she contributed to several published catalogue essays related to exhibitions. Now living and working as an Independent Curator in the Pacific Northwest, Chaloupka serves on the Arts Commission for the City of Bellingham, lectures and teaches within the Art and Art History Department at Western Washington University, and curates museum exhibitions, most recently: Crossover: Cruce de Vias, at the Western Gallery, Bellingham, WA (2015), Colorfast at the Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA (2016) and Nek Chand: The World In A Garden at the Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI. (2017). Chaloupka is currently collaborating on the development of a non-profit arts organization called Bellingham Interactive and leading the design of two permanent collection exhibition spaces for the Kohler’s new Art Preserve building, slated to open in the Fall of 2020.

Accepted Entries Information

Liability/Publicity: Entries will be handled with all possible care, but the MMA is not responsible for any loss or damage for any cause whatsoever. Submitting a work of art to this exhibition implies agreement on the part of the artist with all stated conditions. The MMA assumes the privilege of photographing or using any work entered in the exhibition for the purpose of publicity or education, unless the artist notifies the MMA in writing to the contrary.

Delivery: For hand-delivery, accepted artwork must arrive at the Muskegon Museum of Art on August 22, 23, or 24. Artists may deliver between 11AM and 4:30 PM on Thursday August 22, Friday August 23, and Saturday August 24. Call 231-720-2575 if you need to drop off prior to August 15. No objects will be accepted after August 24.

Ship artwork to: REGIONAL, Muskegon Museum of Art, 296 W Webster Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440.Works shipped by carrier must be prepaid and arrive at the MMA by Friday, August 23, 2019. For shipped work, please include a prepaid return shipping label with your entry. All packing and shipping costs are the responsibility of the artist.

Attach identification labels securely on the back, upper left corner of two-dimensional artworks and under the base or securely tied to three-dimensional artworks. Labels must be those provided in the email of acceptance and should be completely filled in. Please notify the MMA if you require the loading dock for delivery by calling 231-720-2575.

Entry Condition: Works must be ready for presentation. All hanging works should be framed and fitted with wire or D-Rings. Sawtooth hangers are not permitted. Entries must be dry, completely assembled, framed, matted, or mounted. All works on paper must be framed and glazed. Multiple panel pieces (diptychs, triptychs, etc.) cannot exceed 6 feet wide by twelve feet high when installed. Work requiring special handling or installation will be accepted only at the MMA’s discretion. Unsuitably prepared, hazardous, unstable, or extremely fragile works will be declined. If you are unsure about your work conforming to these conditions, please email James Milostan at jmilostan@muskegonartmuseum.org before entering.

Pickup: Accepted entries must remain in the exhibition through Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

MMA staff will return shipped artworks in the packing materials they arrived in. Return of shipped artwork will begin Friday, November 15, 2019.

In person pickup:

November 14, Thursday, 11:00 am – 4:30 pm
November 15, Friday, 11:00 am – 4:30 pm
November 16, Saturday, 11:00 am – 4:30 pm

Due to limited storage, prompt pickup is required. Please call if you must make special pickup arrangements.

Written authorization, along with the notification email, is required for the MMA to release work to anyone other than the artist. Shipment costs are the responsibility of the artist.

Works not picked up by December 27, 2019 will be considered abandoned and will be discarded.


Expressions 2019: 37th Annual Muskegon County Student Art Exhibition

March 14 through April 7, 2019

L. C. and Margaret Walker Gallery B

Expressions, the annual Muskegon County student art exhibition, is a collaboration between the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District and the MMA that showcases the artistic talents of Muskegon County K-12 students. Artworks in a variety of media, selected by art specialists from each of the public, charter, and private schools in the county, will be in the show.

Student Receptions

Visit the exhibition and attend student receptions to celebrate and support our county’s young student artists and their creative vision. Refreshments will be served and event admission is free and open to the public.

Middle/High Schools
Wednesday, March 20, 5:30-7:00 pm

Elementary Schools
Thursday, March 21, 5:30-7:00 pm

Underwritten by the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District and Comerica Bank.

American Spectacle: Paintings from the Manoogian Collection

February 14 through April 28, 2019

Theodore and Joan Operhall Gallery

American Spectacle: Paintings from the Manoogian Collection features eleven carefully selected American Paintings from The Detroit Institute of Arts from its 2018 – 2019 Statewide touring exhibition program. Organized by the DIA, this exhibition focuses on “the world of American painters of the late nineteenth century as they explored competing visions of American culture and identity in works of art that remain relevant today.”

The selected paintings offer inspirational landscapes, genre scenes, historical events, and still life that convey a sense of America, either by celebrating the uniqueness of the land or revealing scenes of American life and culture.

Thomas Moran (American, 1837-1926)
The Great Cave, Pictured Rocks, Lake Superior, Michigan
Oil on canvas, 1873
Manoogian Collection

The Artists

Two paintings represent Thomas Moran; one is a tribute to the discovery of the New World by European explorers, the other is a majestic interpretation of the Painted Rocks of Michigan’s Lake Superior shoreline. George Loring Brown and Frederic Arthur Bridgman spent much of their careers in Europe and share here quintessential views of an America that appealed to the popular imagination of European audiences, depicting the great Niagara Falls and the spectacle of the American circus. Edward Lamson Henry looks back to a preindustrial and pre-Civil War era in Election Day, while Wisconsin artist Franz Biberstein captures the wonder and modernism of Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Trompe l’oeil paintings, seascapes, and images of public celebrations round out the exhibition.

These paintings represent the ability of artists to both inform and capture the popular imagination. In an era where travel was limited and photography still an emerging technology, painters were able to bring the world to their viewers, and in so doing, shape their impressions.


Frederic Arthur Bridgman (American, 1847-1928)
American Circus in Brittany
Oil on canvas, 1869/70
Manoogian Collection

George Loring Brown (American, 1814-1889)
Niagara Falls at Sunset
Oil on canvas, circa 1861
Manoogian Collection


Edward Lamson Henry (American, 1841-1919)
Election Day 1844
Oil on canvas, 1913
Manoogian Collection


American Spectacle: Paintings from the Manoogian Collection is organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts and made possible by the Richard and Jane Manoogian Collection. This is one in a series of American art exhibitions created through a multi-year, multi-institutional partnership formed by the Detroit Institute of Arts as part of the Art Bridges + Terra Foundation Initiative. Generous support is provided by the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation.

This exhibition is underwritten by DTE Energy Foundation.

In Pieces: The Art of Vintage Puzzles

February 14 through April 21, 2019

Michael and Kay Olthoff/Thelma and Paul Wiener Gallery

Jigsaw puzzles are an international pastime tailored to a myriad range of interests and skill levels. The premise of the jigsaw puzzle is simple: an image, applied to a rigid surface such as cardboard or wood, is cut into interlocking pieces that, when reassembled, display the original picture. Puzzles have evolved through changes in technology and to match the interests of each new generation. As a result, physical jigsaw puzzles and online versions are available for today’s users. In Pieces: The of Vintage Puzzles looks back to the late 19th and early 20th century heyday of the puzzle, when manufacturers across Europe and the United States brought their products to market – as toys for children and adults, teaching aides, advertisements, and promotional gimmicks.

This collection of vintage puzzles comes to us through the estate of André Aerne, a passionate collector not only of puzzles, but also stamps, ceramics, and art. The Muskegon Museum of Art hosted an exhibition of Aerne’s Clarice Cliff ceramics in 2010, and is pleased to present his puzzles to the public for the first time. This collection presents an intriguing look into the past and an opportunity to see history through the visual objects that informed peoples’ everyday experience and understanding of their contemporary world.

LEARN MORE: History of Jigsaw Puzzles, Wikipedia

View more examples of puzzles in the exhibition


Puzzles featuring artworks from the MMA collection are now available for purchase in the MMA Store.

Underwritten by Nichols, Frank and Susan Bednarek in honor of André Aerne, and The Thelma & Paul Wiener Fund for the Arts of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County

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