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.
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.
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.
Alasdair Wallace (UK, 1993 / 1996) has been awarded The William Littlejohn Award for Excellence and Innovation in Water-based Media from The Royal Scottish Academy.
Jelena Bulajic (Serbia, 2012 / 2016) is one of the artists featured by carlier | gebauer of Berlin, Germany at Art Düsseldorf 2017 which is being held in Düsseldorf, Germany from November 17 to 19, 2017.
Rictus, a solo exhibition of the works of Ken Currie (UK, 1982) is being held at Flowers Gallery, London, UK from November 8 to December 9, 2017.
The feminist artistic collective Women Painting Women is putting on its first-ever travelling museum exhibition, Women Painting Women: In Earnest, an exhibition of 30 contemporary artists “who explore the complexity of being a woman today.” The exhibition which premiered at the Customs House Museum in Clarskville, Tennessee has now travelled to the J. Wayne Stark Galleries at Texas A&M University, in College Station, Texas where it is being shown until December 16, 2017. Five of the participating artists are grant recipients: Aleah Chapin (USA, 2012 / 2014), Ellen Eagle (USA, 2001 / 2006 / 2011), Zoey Frank (USA, 2013 / 2015 / 2016), Kristy Gordon (Canada, 2009 / 2013 / 2015) and Haley Hasler (USA, 2000 / 2002 / 2004).
Sarah Spencer (UK, 1995) is exhibiting in the Geedon Gallery Autumn Exhibition held in Colchester, Essex, UK from October 7 to December 15, 2017. The Geedon mounts two major exhibitions a year, in the Spring and Autumn, promoting 20th and 21st Century modern British artists and sculptors of national and international repute.
Charlotte Sorapure (UK, 1991 / 1994) is part of a two-person exhibition at the Brian Sinfeld Gallery in Oxfordshire, UK from November 12 to 25, 2017.
Daniel Hughes (Canada, 1991 / 1995) received one of the two Honourable Mentions awarded in the 2017 Kingston Prize, Canada's portrait competition and Leslie Watts (Canada, 1986 / 2009 / 2013) received the People’s Choice Award. The names of the winner of the Prize and the two recipients of an Honourable Mention were announced on November 4, 2017 at the opening of the Peel Art Gallery, in Brampton, Ontario.
Aleah Chapin (USA, 2012 / 2014) is part of a comprehensive museum exhibition titled Aging Pride, which is being held at the Belvedere Museum in Vienna, Austria from November 18, 2017 to March 4, 2018. The exhibition presents the works of more than 100 internationally renown artists in an examination of historical and contemporary artistic positions on the concept of age.
Sebastian Hosu (Romania, 2012 / 2017) has a solo exhibition of new works at Josef Filipp Galerie in Leipzig, Germany from October 14 to November 11, 2017. He has also just completed two other exhibitions in Germany, the first at the Berlin Art Fair, in September, and the second at Galerie ff15, in Leipzig, in October.
Philip Ackermann (Austria, 2016) is having a solo exhibition, Von Frankreich bis Amerika ("From France to America") from November 17 to December 22, 2017 in Traiskirchen, Austria. Philip will be exhibiting some 70 to 80 works produced with the help of the grant awarded to him by the Foundation.
The Washington Baroque, a solo exhibition of more than 40 paintings by Teresa Oaxaca (USA, 2008 / 2009) is being held at The Arts Club of Washington, Washington, D.C. from November 3 to 25, 2017.
Kristina Chan (Canada, 2017) is part of a three-person exhibition, In Media Res, at Leith Art School, Edinburgh, Scotland from October 23 to December 9, 2017. Kristina has also been selected for the 2017-2018 Florence Trust Artist's-in-Residence and will be representing Canada in Artrooms London 2018, an international art fair for international artists held in London, United Kingdom on January 20 to 22, 2018.
Nicholas Crombach (Canada, 2016) is having a solo exhibition, Behind Elegantly Carved Wooden Doors, at Art Mûr Montreal, Montreal, Quebec from November 9 to December 23, 2017. The exhibition will feature a selection of his works from 2016 - 2017, including a number of works produced during his recently completed year-long studio residency at The Florence Trust in London, United Kingdom. Some of his works will also be on display at the Art Toronto international contemporary art fair held in Toronto, Ontario on October 27 to 30, 2017.
Mary Sauer (USA, 2013 / 2017) is having a solo exhibition of her recent works at Sloane Merrill Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts from November 6 to 30, 2017.
Two-time grant recipient Ambera Wellmann has won the 19th annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition. The prize of C$25,000 was awarded to her for her work of oils on wood titled Temper Ripened. This was Ambera’s second time as a finalist for the RBC Canadian Painting Competition in two years. The juried competition honours young and emerging Canadian painters and is one of Canada’s most prestigious painting competitions. Ambera is the second grantee of the Foundation to win the Competition. Jennifer Walton, another two-time grant recipient, won the very first Competition in 1999. We are also extremely proud of our several grantees selected as finalists over the years, including Laura Rokas-Bérubé in 2017; Jennifer Carvalho, in 2013 and 2014; Andrea Kastner in 2012; Joseph Siddiqi in 2001; and Catherine Beaudette, in 2000.
Ashley Lyon (USA, 2011 / 2014) is part of a two-person exhibition, Modern Domestics, at Jane Lombard Gallery in New York City, from November 2 to December 21, 2017.
Internationally acclaimed artists, Jenny Saville (UK, 1993 / 1996) and Chantal Joffe (UK, 1993) are part of From Life, an exhibition being held The Royal Academy of Arts in London, England from December 11, 2017 to March 11, 2018. The exhibition looks at the past, present and future of the practice of painting from life, with a selection of historic pieces from the RA Collection, alongside works by contemporary artists.
Medrie Macphee (Canada, 1982) is having a solo exhibition at Barbara Edwards CONTEMPORARY, in Toronto, Ontario from October 6 to November 25, 2017.
Giuseppe Di Leo (Canada, 1985 / 1988), the late John Fox (Canada,1955 / 1956), Sophie Jodoin (Canada, 1999) and Marion Wagschal (Canada, 1975) are among the many well-known artists who were once at Concordia (or Sir George Williams) University, as students and/or professors, and who are featured in the upcoming exhibition, Time, Lines - Drawings from Concordia: 1948 – 2017. The exhibition, presented by The Guido Molinari Foundation, partnered with the Concordia University Drawing Lab Dessin, opens on Thursday, September 21 and is on view through December 17, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec.
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.
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.
The Things We Carry, a solo exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Michael Thompson (Canada 1977 / 1978) will be held at Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto, Ontario from October 21 to November 18, 2017.