The Customs House Museum presents Rising Voices 2: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters

Clarksville, TNRising Voices 2: The Bennett Prize for Female Figurative Realist Painters has made its way to the gallery walls of the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center and is open to the public.

The exhibition is organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art and the Pittsburgh Foundation and is held in conjunction with the Bennett Prize.

Aneka Ingold
Aneka Ingold

The $50,000 Bennett Prize is awarded biennially to a female fine art painter whose primary artistic focus is figurative painting in a predominantly realistic style.




The Bennett Prize aims to encourage the pursuit of figurative realism by women painters and will provide support for two years to a selected painter whose work demonstrates excellence in the genre.

The Customs House Museum is the only stop in Tennessee for the traveling exhibit. “We are thrilled to be one of six museums across the country to present this fabulous exhibition of talented figurative artists,” says Terri Jordan, Curator of Exhibits.

Rising Voices 2 is comprised of paintings by the ten 2021 Bennett Prize finalists, 2021 Prize winner Ayana Ross, and 2019 Prize winner Aneka Ingold.

Ayana Ross
Ayana Ross

Aneka Ingold’s dramatically staged paintings feature mysterious allegories informed by women’s stories and lives.

Drawn from the self-reflection and shared experiences of peers and women throughout history, her stories are relayed through symbols and motifs that culminate in a central goddess-like figure.


Also on display are paintings by the 10 female figurative realist painters named last fall as second Bennett Prize finalists, including winner Ayana Ross of McDonough, Georgia.

The other nine finalists are:

  • Sophia-Yemisi Adeyemo-Ross; Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tanmaya Bingham; Portland, OR
  • Chloe Chiasson; Brooklyn, New York
  • June Glasson; Millbrook, NY
  • Holly Keogh; Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Lavey Miller; Baltimore, Maryland
  • Rebecca Orcutt; North Curve, Washington
  • SuSu, Pittsburgh; Pennsylvania
  • Amy Werntz; Dallas, TX
Bennett Prize
Bennett Prize

“Beautiful, fun, haunting, mystifying, celebratory and surprising, these works invite a deeper examination of the artists’ perspectives and offer viewers the opportunity to assess their own lives, experiences and perceptions of the work,” said Art Martin, Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Muskegon Museum of Art.


Rising Voices 2: The Bennett Prize for Female Figurative Realist Painters and Aneka Ingold: Transfiguration are on display at the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center until April 24.

About the Customs House Museum

Customs House Museum and Cultural CenterLocated in the heart of historic downtown Clarksville, Tennessee, the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center is the second largest general museum in the state. The original part of the building was constructed in 1898 as the United States Post Office and Customs House for the flourishing tobacco trade. Incorporating a number of architectural styles, the original structure is one of the most photographed buildings in the area.

With over 35,000 square feet of the area’s best hands-on activities and special events…people of all ages agree – the Customs House Museum is well worth the stop!

The Explorer’s Gallery is packed with fun, learning and fantasy in Aunt Alice’s Attic, McGregor’s Market and Kitchen and, of course, the Bubble Cave! Finally, all get on board to see our fantastic model trains. Our volunteer engineers “ride the tracks” every Sunday afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Normal museum hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Adult admission is $7.00, seniors and college IDs $5.00, ages 6-18 $3.00, and under-sixes and museum members are free.

The Customs Museum is located at 200 South Second Street. For more information, call 931.648.5780 or visit their website at www.customshousemuseum.org

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