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.
Aubrey Levinthal (USA, 2013 / 2016) is having a solo exhibition at Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York, NY, from September 7 to October 14, 2017.
David Kassan (USA, 2017) was awarded The William F. Draper Grand Prize and Peoples Choice Award, 2017 at the International Portrait Competition held by the Portrait Society of America, for his work ”Love and Resilience, Portrait of Louise and Lazar Farkas, Survivors of the Shoah”. The 23 finalists in the competition also included grantees Caleb O’Connor (USA, 2001 / 2002 / 2004) and Mary Sauer (USA, 2013 / 2017).
Hunt Slonem (USA, 1976) is having a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum, Krasnoyarsk, Russia from July 20 to September 17, 2017.
Ken Currie (UK, 1982) and Alison Watt (UK,1989) are among the thirty artists whose works are exhibited in Mono: An Exhibition of Unique Prints, at Flowers Gallery in London, England from July 7 to September 9, 2017.
Thomas Cameron (UK, 2014 / 2016) is having a solo exhibition of new works at the Sutton Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland from July 27 until September 2, 2017.
Amanda (Mandy) Payne (UK, 2015) is one of the artists whose works are included in Contemporary Masters from Britain: 80 British Painters of the 21st Century, an exhibition of 80 works selected from the Priseman-Seabrook collection showcasing contemporary British painters, which will go on go on display in four Chinese art museums for the very first time between July 7 and December 30, 2017.
Daniel Hughes (Canada, 1991 / 1995), Leslie Watts (Canada, 1986 / 2009 / 2013) and Helena Vallée-Dallaire (Canada, 2012 / 2013 / 2015) are among the 30 finalists for The 2017 Kingston Prize, Canada's portrait competition. The Kingston Prize of $20,000, presented by the Haynes Connell Foundation, and two Honourable Mention Awards of $2,000 each, will be awarded during the opening at the Peel Art Gallery on November 4, 2017.
Kate Downie (UK, 1983 / 1986) has an upcoming major solo exhibition of her paintings, Anatomy of Haste, at The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland from August 3 to September 2, 2017.
Panoramas & Fragments, an exhibition curated by Lorraine Simms (Canada, 1981) runs from July 12 to September 3, 2017 at Galerie 175B – Boxotel in Montreal, Canada.
Two celebrated Canadian grantees, Jack Chambers (Canada, 1955) and Marion Wagschal (Canada, 1975) are part of a current exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Mnémosyne: Quand l’art contemporain rencontre l’art du passé. The show runs from April 12, 2017 to May 20, 2018.
Raka Panda (India, 2015) has been accepted to the Kanoria Centre for Arts Painting Residence Programme 2017-18 at Ahmedabad in Gujarat, India.
Nahem Shoa (UK, 1994 / 2000) will be part of a group show, Into The Wild Abyss, based on John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost, which is being held at The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in Exeter, England from June 9 to September 3, 2017.
Michael Thompson (Canada, 1977/1978) is part of The Still Life Show, at Mira Godard Gallery in Toronto, Ontario from July 8 to September 9, 2017. Michael will also have a solo exhibition of new paintings at Mira Godard Gallery later this year, from October 21 to November 18, 2017.
Ambera Wellmann (Canada, 2014 / 2016) and Laura Rokas-Bérubé (Canada, 2014 / 2016) are among the 15 finalists in the 2017 RBC Canadian Painting Competition for emerging and early-stage Canadian artists. The competition received a total of 682 submissions this year. The winner will be announced on October 17th, 2017, and all 15 artists will have their work exhibited at The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario from September 1st to October 22nd, 2017.
Danica Lundy (Canada, 2015 / 2017) and Eleni Giannapoulou (Greece, 2015 / 2016) have been named Chubb Post Graduate Fellows for 2017-2018 by The New York Academy of Art. Previous grantees of the Foundation who have been named Chubb Fellows by NYAA include Valerie Gilbert (Canada, 2014 / 2016) in 2016; Esteban Ocampo (Colombia, 2016) and Sarah Schlesinger (USA, 2015) in 2015; Alonsa Guevara (USA, 2013) in 2014; Aleah Chapin (USA, 2012 / 2014) in 2012; and Maya Brodsky (USA, 2012) in 2010.
Lauren Litwa (USA, 1992) is part of a group exhibition by Assemblage, a group of 17 women artists from the greater Philadelphia area, being held at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, Delaware. Assemblage: A Regional Collective of Women Artists runs from May 13 through September 3, 2017.
Multiple award winning printmaker, Dan Steeves (Canada, 1981) and composer Kevin Morse of the Department of Music at Mount Allison University, are presenting a creative collaboration, The Space Between, from March 24 to May 21, 2017 at Owens Art Gallery of Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick. The music is inspired by a series of new intaglio prints by Dan. The exhibition will feature Steeves' prints and an audio installation by Morse in the Owens Art Gallery. The exhibition will remain at the Owens until May 21 and will move to the Saint John Arts Centre, Saint John, New Brunswick, from November 6 to December 20, 2017. The exhibition is reviewed in the summer 2017 edition of Vie des Arts.
Congratulations to Benjamin Sullivan (UK, 2003) who has been awarded First Prize and £30,000 in the BP Portrait Award 2017! Benjamin’s portrait Breech! was selected from among 2,580 submissions received from 87 different countries. Benjamin has exhibited twelve times in the BP Portrait Award since 2002. His portrait Hugo was awarded third prize in 2016. Benjamin joins a proud list of grantees of the Foundation who have won this distinguished Award, or its predecessor award, the John Player Portrait Award, over the last 30 years: Alison Watt in 1987; Allan Ramsay in 1988; Justin Mortimer in 1991; Peter Edwards in 1994; Ishbel Myerscough in 1995; James Lloyd in 1997; Stuart Pearson Wright in 2001; and Aleah Chapin in 2012.
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.
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.