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 firmly believed that discipline, hard work and serious training in the traditional means of artistic expression were fundamental to the growth and development of the artist. His determination to help dedicated young artists and students pursue the mastery of the traditional techniques and workmanship in painting and sculpture prompted him to establish and endow a foundation for this purpose.
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 directed that the funds of the Foundation be used to help young artists acquire the necessary training, skills and competence in the traditional artistic methods, specifically excluding all grants to those “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 Foundation provides financial assistance, by way of grants, to young artists who are pursuing their studies or are in the early or developmental stage of their career, are working in a representational style of painting, drawing, sculpture or printmaking, and demonstrate the determination and talent to pursue a lifetime career in their art practice.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 some 1800 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 to or through other organizations.
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 will only fund young artists who are pursuing their studies or are in the early or developmental stage of their career, are working in a representational style of painting, drawing, sculpture or printmaking, and demonstrate the determination and talent to pursue a lifetime career in their art practice.
The Foundation does not provide funding for the pursuit of abstract or non-objective art.
Style & Discipline
Applicants must work within a representational style of painting, drawing, sculpture or printmaking. No other artistic activities or disciplines are funded.
The following, in particular, are not within the mandate of the Foundation and are not eligible for a grant: illustration; graphic design; photography; animation; video art; film; digital art; crafts; decorative arts; any work that uses a photograph or digital image as the principal medium or that is produced using computer software or graphics; and any work or activity that falls primarily into any of the foregoing categories.
Applicants must be in the early stage of their career, either as a student or as an emerging artist in the process of launching their career. Grants are not intended as work or project grants for more experienced or mature artists.
The Foundation has no geographic, citizenship or residency requirements; its grants are available to eligible applicants from around the world.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age to be eligible to apply and may not be older than 41 years of age at the time of submitting their application for a first grant.
Candidates who have previously received a grant may apply for a further grant after the age of 41, provided that they continue to meet all other eligibility requirements.
The Foundation welcomes applications throughout the year; there is no deadline for filing an application.
Previous Applicants / Grantees
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 (i) the award of their previous grant, or (ii) the rejection of their most recent application.
Applicants who have previously applied for, but not received, a grant may reapply two years after the date on which their previous application was rejected.
Applicants must be individuals applying on their own behalf; applications may not be submitted for the benefit or on behalf of any other person. Artistic groups, collectives and organizations are not eligible, nor are individuals permitted to apply on their behalf.
Please refer to the FAQs found on this website for further information on the Foundation’s eligibility requirements.
In order to apply for a grant, an applicant must use the application accessed from this site. No other form of application will be accepted.
Applications must be completed and submitted online. Applications submitted in any other manner, including by email, mail or otherwise, will not be accepted.
Applicants must provide all of the information and upload all of the material and documentation required for the application. This includes:
All documents and material (including the letter of reference) 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. An official translation of certain documents is required; these include all documents relating to the applicant's proof of identity, proof of acceptance to a program of study or training, where required, and the letter of reference.
Candidates may only access the application by creating an account and completing an eligibility questionnaire. Prior to creating an account, please carefully review all of the information found under "Eligibility" as well as in the FAQs found on this website to ensure that you are eligible to apply and understand our grant programme and how it works.
Click here to access the online application site.
Submitting an application requires a significant investment of time by the applicant and his or her referee. We ask that only serious and committed candidates apply.
Prior to starting an application, please carefully review all of the information on our website, including “Eligibility”, “How to Apply”, and the FAQs, to ensure that you are eligible to apply and that you understand the application process.
Candidates may only access the application by creating an account and completing an eligibility questionnaire. To create an account and start an application, or to return to an application that you have already started, click the link below.
Four grantees, Kendall Ayoub-Nichols (Canada, 1996 / 1998), Melissa Chen (Canada, 2017), Elaine Despins (Canada, 2008) and Leslie Watts (Canada,1986 / 2009 / 2013), are among the 30 finalists selected for the 2019 Kingston Prize, Canada's portrait competition! The Canada-wide competition for Canadian portrait painting and drawing is open to any Canadian artist who depicts a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant in a portrait based on a real life encounter. The jury panel for 2019 is composed of Catharine Mastin, Sarah Milroy and Phil Richards. The Prize of $20,000, and two Honourable Mention Awards of $2,000 each, will be awarded on October 17, 2019.
Congratulations to Emma Hopkins (UK, 2017) who won the Young Artist Award at the 2019 BP Portrait Award for her work, Sophie and Carla.
Alison Watt (UK, 1989) is having a solo show, A Shadow on the Blind, at Parafin Gallery, London, United Kingdom from May 24 to July 23, 2019. Alison is also part of part of a group exhibition, The Glasgow School, being held at the Scottish Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland from June 1 to June 26, 2019.
Michael Thompson (Canada, 1977 / 1978) is part of a group exhibition, Interiors, at Mira Godard Gallery in Toronto, Ontario from June 22 to September 7, 2019.
Larry Madrigal (USA, 2017 / 2018) is part of a group exhibition, Painting the Figure Now II, at the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art in Wausau, Wisconsin. The exhibition runs from July 9 to September 28, 2019.
Carlos Sagrera (Spain, 2017) has a solo show, Hábito, at gallery Arróniz Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City, Mexico from June 8 to August 24, 2019.
Alvin Ong (Singapore, 2016 / 2018) is one of the winners of the 2019 Jealous Art Prize. The prize, which is awarded annually to a select number of M.A. graduates from London’s major art colleges, is an all-expenses paid residency at Jealous Print Studios London, United Kingdom. Each year, the Jealous Prize portfolio is added to a growing archive that forms part of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s permanent print collection.
A record number of thirteen grantees from five different decades are exhibiting in The 2019 Royal Academy of Arts 251st Summer Exhibition. The exhibition, which opened on June 10 and runs through to August 12, 2019, at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, United Kingdom, showcases some 1500 works in all mediums – prints and paintings, film, photography, sculpture, architectural works and more. Included in the exhibition are works by Robbie Wraith (UK, 1975 / 1976), Ken Currie (UK, 1982), Sarah Gillespie (UK, 1985), Melissa Scott-Miller (UK, 1985), Derrick Guild (UK, 1986), Anne Desmet (UK, 1989 / 1996 / 2007), Chantal Joffe (UK, 1993), Alasdair Wallace (UK, 1993 / 1996), Ishbel Myerscough (UK, 1991 / 1993 / 1999), Stuart Pearson Wright (UK, 2000), Mandy Payne (UK, 2015), Yasmine Dainelli (Italy, 2016) and Jemma Gunning (UK, 2019).
Aubrey Levinthal (USA, 2013 / 2016 / 2019) is part of a group exhibition, Flowering: Inside/Outside, at Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York, New York from June 13 to July 26, 2019.
Alasdair Wallace (UK, 1993 / 1996) has a solo exhibition, Oscillate, Vacillate, Orbit & Revolve, at the Glasgow Print Studio, Glasgow, Scotland from June 7 to July 28, 2019.
Flora Yukhnovich (UK, 2013 / 2016) is part of a three person show at Victoria Miro London, London, United Kingdom, in association with The Great Women Artists. The show runs from June 7 to July 27, 2019.
Ewan McClure (UK, 1997 / 1998 /2000) is having a solo exhibition, Gravity and Light, at The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland from June 29 to July 20, 2019
Dominique Rey (Canada, 2001) is part of a group exhibition, If I have a body, at Remai Modern in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The exhibition runs from May 31 to September 2, 2019.
Sarah Spencer (UK, 1995) is part of the Summer Exhibition at the Russell Gallery in London, United Kingdom from June 29 through to September 2019.
Elizabeth Corkery (USA, 2014 / 2016) has a solo exhibition at Providence College Galleries (PC–G) in Providence, Rhode Island. On The Wall: Elizabeth Corkery is on view through July 26, 2019 and is the first presentation in PC–G’s Beyond Bauhaus program.
Jelena Prljevic (Serbia, 2017) has a solo exhibition, Safe Ground to Land on, at Galerie Liusa Wang, in Paris, France from June 7 to July 27, 2019.