The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation was created in 1955 by Charles Glass Greenshields, Q.C., a distinguished Montreal lawyer and amateur artist, in memory of his mother, Elizabeth.
Mr. Greenshields considered discipline and serious training in the traditional means of artistic expression fundamental to the growth and development of the artist. Through his involvement with the artistic community, he saw how difficult it was for artists to obtain the financial support required to pursue their training. His determination to help emerging artists prompted Greenshields to establish a foundation dedicated to contributing to the development of artists of genuine distinction in their particular fields.
Charles Greenshields personally directed the Foundation that he created for the first 13 years of its existence and remained active in its organization until his death, in 1974. His vision and his mission live on through the foundation that he so generously endowed.
Mr. Greenshields wished to help and encourage serious art students, artists and sculptors who recognize that there is no short cut to competence and who evince a willingness to do the hard work and subject themselves to the discipline required for the mastery of their craft. He was also convinced that the mastery of their craft first required them to master the traditional means of artistic expression. As a result, he directed that the funds of the Foundation be used to help talented individuals in their formative years, to acquire the necessary training, skills and competence in the traditional artistic methods, specifically excluding all grants to students, artists or sculptors “who show clearly a disposition to use the purely abstract or non-objective method in their work.”
The philosophy outlined by Mr. Greenshields in his endowment has informed the mission of the Foundation over the previous 60 years and it continues to do so to this day.
The mission of the Foundation is to provide financial assistance, by way of grants, to students and artists in the early or developmental stage of their career who work in a representational style of painting, drawing, sculpture or printmaking and demonstrate a commitment to making art a lifetime career. The Foundation does not provide funding for the pursuit of abstract or non-objective art.
The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant is one of the most prestigious grants available to emerging figurative artists, as well as one of the most substantial. It is one of the longest standing, with an illustrious history of recipients spanning more than half a century. It is also unique in its scope, in that it is available to students and artists around the world.
To date, the Foundation has provided financial assistance to more than 2000 students and artists in 40 countries. Its grantees are renowned artists, both nationally and internationally, as well as highly respected art professors, teachers and mentors. The Foundation is extremely proud of its grantees and of their accomplishments. A selection of the works of some of the Foundation’s previous grantees can be found in the Gallery.
First grants are in the amount of CAD $15,000 each. Subsequent grants are in the amount of CAD $18,000 each. Grants are made directly to the beneficiaries, not through other organizations. The Foundation reserves the right to award grants in other amounts and to disburse funds in whole or in part, as it deems advisable. Grantees may not receive more than three grants in their lifetime.
Grants are awarded based solely on the information contained in the Application Form and the supporting documentation and material submitted with it. The Foundation does not conduct personal interviews. The decision of the Foundation is final and is not subject to review or appeal.
“The generous support of The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation has allowed me a year of focus, self-discipline, and creativity as I continue to explore my practice in the Masters of Fine Arts program at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design. Your grant will allow me to continue to fund my artistic development in ways that would otherwise have been impossible.”— Elizabeth (Liz) Toohey-Wiese (2013 / 2014 grantee)
“…The support I received from The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation was fundamental early in my career as a painter. I couldn't have got my early shows done without the financial assistance of the Foundation. I was able to concentrate 100% on my paintings rather than constantly worry about finding the money to be able to paint for the exhibitions I'd been offered.”— Jenny Saville (1993 / 1996 Grantee)
“…Can I take this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. The award allowed me to paint solidly, intensely and without interruption for over two years after leaving Oxford. That period kick started my career in a way that I have never forgotten.”— Sarah Gillespie (1985 Grantee)
“Receiving your grant has enabled me to meet, befriend and learn from the largest living influence on my work. The grant has also allowed me to gain publicity, meet the family of another enormous influence, travel the world, and, of course, make many more paintings than I would have been able to without the Foundation’s generosity and kindness. I am forever indebted to you. The past year has felt like a dream. Words cannot adequately express my gratitude."— Matthew Adelberg (2013 Grantee)
“I am deeply grateful for the support of The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation and am overjoyed to report the tremendous impact it has had on my artistic career over the past year. I have met or exceeded all of the goals I set for myself during this funding period. I have created a large body of work that represents a new phase in my artistic output. This work has also garnered the type of attention that means that the audience for my work has grown substantially, and will continue to grow in the future.”— Kristy Gordon (2009 / 2013 Grantee)
The Gallery features a selection of the works of some of the grantees of the Foundation.
To see what our grantees are up to, click here.
The Foundation welcomes applications throughout the year; there is no deadline for filing an application.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age at the time of submitting their application, in the early or developmental stage of their career, demonstrate a commitment to making art a lifetime career and work in a representational style of painting, drawing, sculpting or printmaking.
Grantees who have complied with the terms and conditions of a grant previously awarded to them by the Foundation may apply for a second or third grant one year after the award of their previous grant.
Applicants who have previously applied for, but not received, a grant may reapply after two years.
Only those applicants who work in a representational style of painting, drawing, sculpture or printmaking will be considered. The Foundation does not accept applications from commercial artists, graphic designers and illustrators; photographers; cartoonists; video artists, filmmakers and digital artists; craft-makers; or any artist whose work falls primarily into these categories. The Foundation does not provide funding for the pursuit of abstract or non-objective art.
Applications must be completed online, then printed, dated and signed by the applicant, and submitted by mail. Applicants may not submit applications by fax, email, internet or other electronic means.
All information, supporting documentation and material required in the Application Form must be provided. Incomplete, unsigned or undated applications will not be considered.
The documents required include:
All documents and material must be submitted in French or in English. Documents or material in another language must be provided to the Foundation in their original language, along with a French or English translation.
The Application Form may be accessed by clicking here.
Andrea Kastner (Canada, 2012), participated in a recent group exhibition, Vestiges, held at Galerie BAC in Montreal, Québec, from February 12 to March 7, 2015.
John Richard Fox (Canada, 1955 / 1956) is the subject of a retrospective, Abstractions, to be held at Oeno Gallery in Prince Edward County, Ontario, from May 29 to June 21, 2015. The artist’s widow, art historian Sandra Paikowsky, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, will be speaking at the Gallery on “The Life and Abstract Work of John Richard Fox”, on Sunday May 31.
Chris Cran (Canada, 1979) has been invited to curate an exhibition of works selected from the collection of the McMaster Museum of Art in Hamilton, Ontario, and to nominate a work of his own to be included. The resulting exhibition, It’s My Vault, runs through to May 9, 2015.
Dominique Rey (Canada, 2001) is having a solo exhibition, Under the Rose Arch, at MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie, Ontario, from March 19 to June 28, 2015.
Medrie MacPhee (Canada, 1982) is one of the 40 contemporary artists who will be exhibited at the American Academy of Arts and Letters Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts held in New York City from March 12 through April 12, 2015. Exhibiting artists were chosen from a pool of over 200 nominees submitted by the members of the Academy, America’s most prestigious honorary society of architects, artists, writers, and composers.
Dan Steeves (Canada, 1981) is the winner of the 2014 Open Studio National Printmaking Award. His exhibition, Memory of Pain, will be travelling to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton NB from February 5 to May 17, 2015.
Portraits, Memories, Fables, a retrospective of the works of Marion Wagschal (Canada, 1975) will be held at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, from April 9 to August 9, 2015.