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 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 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.
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.
The Foundation welcomes applications throughout the year; there is no deadline for filing an 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; artists who work in the decorative arts; 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.
The Foundation has no geographic or residency requirements, grants are available to eligible applicants from around the world.
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.
The Application Form may be accessed by clicking here.
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.
Kristina Chan (Canada, 2017) has been selected to participate in this year's National Original Print Exhibition of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE). The exhibition, which celebrates the best of contemporary printmaking, is being held from September 19 to September 30, 2018 at Bankside Gallery in London, UK.
Daniel Hughes (Canada, 1991 / 1995) is having a solo exhibition, Flux, at Ingram Gallery in Toronto, Ontario from September 15 to October 6, 2018.
Kathy Liao (USA, 2008) is participating in two group exhibitions this fall: The Figure: In Paint and Line, at Steele Gallery at Gage Academy of Arts in Seattle, Washington from September 7 to September 30, 2018; and REALITY, at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City, Missouri from September 6 to October 27, 2018.
Lyne Bastien (Canada, 1981) is part of a group exhibition, CANICULARES : Les jours de canicule / The dog days, which is being held at Beaux-Arts des Amériques in Montreal, Quebec until September 22, 2018.
Nicholas St John Rosse RSMA (UK, 1970 / 1971) is one of the 50 artists featured in the preview of the Royal Society of Marine Artists’ Annual Exhibition to be held at Mall Galleries, in London, UK from October 11 to October 20, 2018. The exhibition itself will show 400 works of the Society’s members.
Simon Richardson (New Zealand, 1998 / 2005 / 2007) is part of a group exhibition, Southern Gothic, being held from September 8 to October 3, 2018 at Milford Galleries Dunedin, New Zealand.
Beata Bigaj (Poland, 1994) is having a solo exhibition, BUNT versus pollice verso, at the Municipal Art Gallery in Częstochowa, Poland from September 14 to October 21, 2018.
Drea Cofield (USA, 2011) is having a solo exhibition, Lotus Eaters, at Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York, N.Y. from September 13 to October 27, 2018.
Carlos Sagrera (Spain, 2017) has an upcoming solo exhibition, Patterns, at Rutger Brandt Gallery in Amsterdam, The Netherlands from September 21 to October 27, 2018.
Matt Brackett (USA, 2006) is part of the Environmental Textures group show at Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, Massachusetts from June 10 to September 28, 2018. Matt is also having a solo exhibition, Bitter Chill, at Alpha Gallery in Boston, from October 5 to October 31, 2018.
Continuing our proud tradition in this prestigious competition, we congratulate our three grantees who were among the 50 finalists shortlisted for the 2018 BP Portrait Prize, Alvin Ong (Singapore, 2016), Meghan Cox (USA, 2006 / 2008) and Conor Walton (Ireland, 1994). The finalists were selected from among 2,667 entries received from 88 countries. The exhibition is on view at the National Portrait Gallery in London (UK) from June 14 to September 23, 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.