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 students and artists in the early or formative stage of their career who are studying or working within 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 activities, in particular, are not within the mandate of the Foundation and are not eligible for a grant: commercial art, graphic design and illustration; photography; animation; video art, film and digital art; crafts; decorative arts; and any work that falls primarily into these 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.
Zoey Frank (USA, 2013 / 2015 / 2016) is exhibiting in Bloom, a group show held at Booth Gallery in New York, New York from November 16, 2018 to January 26, 2019.
Lindsey Bull (UK, 2017) is having a solo exhibition, Dressing Up, at Bo.lee Gallery, London, UK from November 8 to December 1, 2018.
Evan Morse (USA, 2018) was awarded the 2018 Dexter Jones Award. The award is presented annually to a sculptor for an outstanding work of sculpture in bas-relief. It is expressly for sculptors between the ages of 18 to 39 and is funded by an endowment in memory of Dexter Jones, past Fellow of National Sculpture Society. Evan has also just completed a Vermont Studio Center Residency thanks to a fellowship through Boston University.
Robert Marchessault (Canada, 1977) has an upcoming solo exhibition, The Lorax Dreams, at Bau-Xi Gallery in Toronto, Ontario from November 10 to 24, 2018.
Nick Eisele (USA, 2016) is having a solo show, Oil + Light, at the Strathmore Mansion in Rockville Pike, Maryland from November 17, 2018 to January 6, 2019.
Angela Fraleigh (USA, 2017) is exhibiting Shadows Searching for Light at Edward Hopper House Museum and Study Center, in Nyack, New York from November 16, 2018 to February 17, 2019. Angela has also been exhibiting in The Un-Heroic Act: Representations of Rape in Contemporary Women's Art in the U.S. at Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery, John Jay College of Criminal Justice CUNY in New York from September 4 to November 3, 2018; the exhibition featured works by a number of well-known artists from three generations, including Natalie Frank (USA, 2001 / 2005).
Yang Cao (Canada, 2005 / 2016 / 2017) is part of a group show, Referential, at the Novado Art Gallery in Jersey City, New Jersey from October 26 to December 1, 2018.
Robin Cole (USA, 2012 / 2018) has an upcoming solo exhibition, Animas, at Gallery 1261 in Denver, Colorado from October 6 to November 2, 2018.
Haley Hasler (USA, 2000 / 2002 / 2004) and Brandi Twilley (USA, 2018) are exhibiting in In Her Own Image: Self Portraits by Women 1900-2018 curated by Amy Sudarsky, at Concord Center for the Visual Arts, Concord, Massachusetts from October 18 to November 25, 2018.
Mary Phelan (USA, 1975 / 1976) is part of a two-person exhibition, Comfort Zones: The Crossroads of Urban & Rural, at the Miami University Art Museum in Oxford, Ohio from August 28 to December 15, 2018.
Congratulations to geetha thurairajah (Canada, 2018) who has been awarded an Honourable Mention at the 20th annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition, as well as to Stephanie Hier (Canada, 2018) and Joani Tremblay (Canada, 2018) who were among the 15 finalists! The juried competition, which honours young and emerging Canadian painters, is one of the most prestigious in Canada. It awards one first prize of $25,000 and two Honourable Mentions of $15,000 each. The finalists' works will be on display at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, Ontario from September 15 to September 30, 2018.
Jude Griebel (Canada, 2014 / 2015 / 2017) has an upcoming solo exhibition, Jude Griebel: Illuminated Collapse, at Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta from October 18 to December 15, 2018. Jude is the 2018-2019 Artist in Residence at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York City and a current nominee for The Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant for Emerging New York Artists.
Anna Freeman-Bentley (UK, 2017), Chantal Joffe (UK,1993), Ishbel Myerscough (UK, 1991 / 1993 / 1999) and Jenny Saville (UK, 1993 / 1996), will be part of 21st Century Women, an exhibition of works by 18 female artists to mark the centenary of women receiving the right to vote in the UK. The show takes place at Unit Gallery in London, UK from October 6 to November 3, 2018.
Sarah Gillespie (UK, 1985) will be exhibiting at the Autumn Open exhibition of the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol, UK from October 6 to November 25, 2018, as well as an invited artist in the Discerning Eye exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London, UK from November 15 to 25, 2018.
Jenny Day (USA, 2018) is one of the artists exhibited in the Contemporary Forum Award Exhibition, a four-person show at the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona which runs from May 23 to November 14, 2018.
Nidhal Chamekh (Tunisia / France, 2012 / 2016) is participating in a group exhibition, Memory Matters, at Skissermas Museum in Lund, Sweden from October 4, 2018 to February 17, 2019.