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 promote and encourage the acquisition and development by students and artists of the necessary training, skills and competence in the traditional means of artistic expression. The Foundation provides 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 their 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 1600 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 / 2015 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 in the early or developmental stage of their career, work in a representational style of painting, drawing, sculpting or printmaking and demonstrate a commitment to making their art a lifetime career. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age at the time of submitting their application.
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; animation artists; 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:
Images of six representative original works (no more or less) produced by the applicant alone in the last two years, on a USB key or a PC-compatible CD. Works submitted with each application, whether an application for a second or third grant, or a new application by an applicant whose previous application has been rejected, must be different from the works submitted by the applicant with any previous application(s). Images must be submitted in the required format (see the “Format of Images” section in the Instructions that accompany the Application Form). Material that is not formatted correctly will not be considered. The USB key or CD and the application must be submitted together, not under separate cover. USB keys or CDs submitted to the Foundation will not be returned.
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.
Medrie MacPhee (Canada, 1982) is one of the ten artists who received the Anonymous Was a Woman Grant for 2016. Anonymous Was a Woman is an unrestricted grant of US $25,000 that enables women artists, over 40 years of age and at a significant juncture in their lives or careers, to continue to grow and pursue their work. The Award is given in recognition of an artist's accomplishments, artistic growth, originality and potential; it is not need-based. Medrie is currently the Sherri Burt Hennessey Artist-In-Residence at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.
Amy Bennett (USA, 2004) is having two exhibitions of her work this fall: Small Changes Every Day, from September 10 to October 22 at Richard Heller Gallery, in Santa Monica, California; and Time Speeds Up, from September 8 to October 8 at Ameringer McEnery Yohe Gallery, in New York, NY.
Claire Sherman (USA, 2004) will be exhibiting her works in a show titled Claire Sherman: West Ridge at DC Moore Gallery in New York, NY, from October 6 to November 5, 2016.
Internationally acclaimed Canadian sculptor, Evan Penny (Canada, 1975) is following up his spring exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada with Reshaped Reality, which will be travelling to the Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao in Bilbao Spain, from June 7 to September 26, 2016; the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, in Monterrey, Mexico, from October 15, 2016 to January 8, 2017; and the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, in Denmark, from February 4 to June 11, 2017.
Matthew Brackett (USA, 2006) is presenting a solo show, All the Gifts, at Alpha Gallery in Boston, Mass. from October 7 to November 2, 2016.
The works of Anne Desmet RA (UK, 1989 / 1996 / 2007) will be exhibited at the 8th International Printmaking Biennale, at the Museu do Douro, Douro, Portugal, from August 10 to October 31, 2016; the exhibition of the International Printmaking Alliance, held at the China Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing, China, in September and touring to four other venues in the first half of 2017; and the Original Print Show, showing works by artists selected for the RA Summer Exhibition 2016, at Zillah Bell Gallery, Kirkgate, Thirsk, Yorkshire, from September 10 to October 22, 2016. In addition, the Royal Academy will be publishing a facsimile sketchbook entitled Anne Desmet RA – An Italian Journey, which will be launched in conjunction with a related retrospective exhibition of Anne’s Italian-themed wood engravings, linocuts and collages from the last 25 years, at the Royal Over-Seas League, Over-Seas House, London, on October 4. The exhibition will continue until December 2, 2016.
Two grantees, Sara Anstis (Canada, 2013) and Jude Griebel (Canada 2014 / 2015) will be doing residencies at the Kunstnarhuset Messen in Ålvik, Norway, this autumn. Kunstnarhuset Messen offers an artist-in-residence programme for Norwegian and international artists of all disciplines. Jude also recently received the Alberta Foundation for the Arts International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) Residency Grant. This grant allows for a three-month residency at the International Studio & Curatorial Program in Brooklyn New York.
Daniel Greene (USA, 1963) has won the top award - The Founder’s Award - in the Pastel Society of America’s Annual Exhibit at The National Arts Club, for the second year in a row. This is Dan’s 42nd award in the 44-year history of the Pastel Society of America. His painting “Sophie - Bleecker St.” has also won the Gary Erbe Prize in the 103rd annual Allied Artists of America Exhibition which is being held from September 1 to 18, 2016, at the Salmagundi Club in New York.
The new works of Nidhal Chamekh (Tunisia, 2012 / 2016), including drawings, installations, objects and sculpture, are presented in a solo exhibition, mnēmē, at Selma Feriani Gallery in Tunis from September 29 to November 12, 2016. Nidhal’s work has been exhibited at the International Art Exhibition of the 56th Venice Biennale, the Dakar Biennale and most recently, the Aichi Triennale in Japan and the Yinchuan Biennale in China.
Rebecca Molloy (UK, 2015) is one of 13 artists who have been put forward by curator Richard Grayson for the annual Vordemberge-Gildewart Foundation Prize. The exhibition of the short-listed works will run from September 3 to 17, 2016 at Annely Juda Fine Art in London, England. The VG Foundation Prize is a prize of over £40,000 that is intended to assist artists in their formative years. It is awarded annually to a practicing artist under 35 years of age.
Introducing Ambera Wellmann, an exhibition of the new and recent works of Ambera Wellman (Canada, 2014 / 2016) is being held from September 15 to October 22, 2016, at Trepanier Baer, in Calgary, Alberta. This year’s winner of the Joseph Plaskett Foundation Award, one of Canada’s most significant art awards, Amberra was also chosen as one of the 15 finalists in the 18th annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition for emerging and early-stage Canadian artists. The finalists’ paintings will be displayed at Art Toronto from October 28 to 31, 2016.