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 1700 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.
For the second consecutive year, Benjamin Sullivan (UK, 2003) is one of the three artists shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award 2017. The three shortlisted portraits were chosen from 2,580 submissions from 87 different countries.The prize winners will be announced at an award ceremony at the National Portrait Gallery on June 20, 2017.
Ryan Schroeder (USA, 2015) is part of a group exhibition presented by the 2017 Guttenberg Art Foundation’s Artists in Residence. Made Here: New Work by Winter 2017 Artists in Residence showcases the artists’ new works created during the Space+Time Artist Residency (STAR) Program. The exhibition will run from April 7 to May 26, 2017 at the Guttenberg Arts Gallery, Guttenberg, NJ.
Irvin Rodriguez (USA, 2016) will be having his first solo exhibition, Human Nature, at Sirona Fine Art, in Hallendale Beach, Florida, from April 1 to June 1, 2017. Irvin is also interviewed about his career and his work in the April 2017 edition of American Art Collector.
Allyson Glenn (Canada, 2001 / 2002 / 2004) is part of an exhibition highlighting the work of the Faculty in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Saskatchewan at The Gallery/art placement in Saskatoon, from March 25 to April 20, 2017. Allyson is an Associate Professor in Painting and Drawing at University of Saskatchewan.
Alex Wood (UK, 2015 / 2017) will be exhibiting his sculptural work in Air: Visualising the Invisible in British Art 1768-2017, an exhibition curated by Christiana Payne, Stephen Jacobson RWA and Gemma Brace, to be held at the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol, England, from June 16 to September 3, 2017. The exhibition explores how the interest in air and the sky has affected the work of British artists stretching across four centuries, and includes works by important artists, such as Turner and Constable, alongside work from leading and emerging contemporary artists.
The works of two very well-known Canadian grantees, the late John Fox (Canada, 1955 / 1956) and Dan Hughes (Canada, 1991 / 1995) are included in two exhibitions being held this spring at Oeno Gallery, in Bloomfield, Prince Edward County, Ontario. The first, with works from John Fox, is being held from March 1 to April 2; and the second, with works from Dan Hughes, from April 8 to 30th. New works by Dan Hughes will also be included in For Real, a group exhibition to be held from May 6 to May 25, 2017 at Ingram Gallery in Toronto, Ontario.
Anne Desmet RA (UK, 1989 / 1996 / 2007) is having a solo exhibition of her wood engravings at The Holburne Museum, in Bath, England. The exhibition, Changing Skies, runs from March 11 to June 4, 2017, and features 26 recent works, including the launch of a brand new suite of 8 engravings of the Manhattan skyline.
Leslie Watts (Canada, 1986 / 2009 / 2013) has had two works accepted to the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP) Annual Exhibition 2017, to be held at Mall Galleries in London, England, from May 4 to May 19, 2017.
Nidhal Chamekh (France/Tunisia 2012 / 2016) has three upcoming exhibitions: The White Hunter, African Memories and Representations, at FM CENTRO PER L'ARTE CONTEMPORANEA – MILANO, curated by Marco Scotini, from March 30 to June 3, 2017; Drawing Biennial 2017, at The Drawing Room, London, from March 2 to April 2, 2017; and Graphic Witness, curated by Kate Macfarlane, also at The Drawing Room, London, from May 18 to July 9, 2017.
Little Deceptions, a solo exhibition of recent paintings by Lorraine Simms (Canada, 1981) is being presented at Occurrence espace d’art et d’essai contemporains, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, from January 26 to March 4, 2017. Lorraine also curated Mirage, an exhibition of three contemporary artists being presented at Galerie 175B - Boxotel, in Montreal, from March 2 to May 21, 2017.
Internationally acclaimed Canadian sculptor Evan Penny (Canada, 1975) will present an exhibition of new and recent sculptures, Evan Penny : Ask Your Body, curated by Michael Short, at Chiesa di San Samuele, Venice, Italy, from May 2 to November 26, 2017. The exhibition takes place during the 57th Venice Biennale.