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 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.
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, in particular, are not within the mandate of the Foundation and are not eligible for a grant: illustration; graphic design; photography; animation; video art; film; digital art; crafts; decorative arts; any work that uses a photograph or digital image as the principal medium or that is produced using computer software or graphics; and any work or activity that falls primarily into any of the foregoing 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.
Submitting an application requires a significant investment of time by the applicant and his or her referee. We ask that only serious and committed candidates apply.
Prior to starting an application, please carefully review all of the information on our website, including “Eligibility”, “How to Apply”, and the FAQs, to ensure that you are eligible to apply and that you understand the application process.
Candidates may only access the application by creating an account and completing an eligibility questionnaire. To create an account and start an application, or to return to an application that you have already started, click below.
Ambera Wellman (Canada, 2014 / 2016 / 2017) is one of the 57 artists selected to exhibit at the 16th Istanbul Biennial curated by the eminent art historian and curator, Nicolas Bourriaud. The Biennial, with the title The Seventh Continent, will run from September 14 to November 10, 2019.
Clara Hoag (USA, 2015) has a solo exhibition, Bend, at Hooks Epstein Galleries in Houston, Texas from September 7 to October 12, 2019.
Kate Downie (UK, 1983 / 1986) has a solo exhibition, Growing Forms, at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland from October 2 to 26, 2019.
Carlos Sagrera (Spain, 2017) will be exhibiting his most recent works in a two-person exhibition, Mirroring Insights of Time, at Aki Gallery in Taipei, Taiwan from September 20 to October 13, 2019.
Zohar Fraiman (Israel, 2013) is part of a two person exhibition, Magna Rota, which will open at Gallery Maya in Tel Aviv, Israel on September 12, 2019 and will then travel to Kunstverein Schweinfurt museum, Germany, in November.
Nidhal Chamekh (Tunisia, 2012 / 2016) is having a solo exhibition, nos visages, from September 13 to October 27, 2019 at Selma Feriani Gallery in Tunis, Tunisia.
Lyne Bastien (Canada, 1981) is part of a group exhibition, Salon d'automne, at Beaux-Arts des Amériques, Montreal, Quebec from September 12 to October 12, 2019.
Sebastian Hosu (Romania, 2012 / 2017) is part of a three-person exhibition, Body Forms, opening at Rundgaenger Gallery in Frankfurt, Germany on September 8, 2019.
David Kassan (USA, 2017) is having a solo exhibition, Facing Survival | David Kassan, at the Fisher Museum of Art in Los Angeles, California from September 18 to December 7, 2019. The exhibition, which is presented in partnership with the USC Shoah Foundation, features paintings and drawings of more than two dozen Holocaust survivors.
A work by Elaine Despins (Canada, 2008), “Nocturnal SP” has been juried into the Pastel Society of America’s 47th Annual Exhibition, Enduring Brilliance, and received the Lila Teich Gold Award . The exhibition is on view at the National Arts Club in Manhattan, New York from September 3 to 28, 2019. Elaine is also having a solo exhibition of her works, A Luminous Darkness, at Atelier Galerie 2112 in Montreal, Quebec from October 3 to 20, 2019.
Tony Luciani (Canada, 1977 / 1979 / 1989) is one of the finalists in the 2019 / 2020 Salt Spring National Art Prize (SNAP) competition. The Salt Spring National Art Prize is a biennial competition and exhibition of Canadian visual art. The intent of SSNAP is “to encourage artists whose practice demonstrates originality, quality, integrity and creativity—resulting in significant work with visual impact and depth of meaning.”
Sharon Sprung (USA, 1976) is one of the artists participating in a group exhibition of women artists, The Female Eye, being held at Gallery Henoch in New York, New York from September 19 to October 22, 2019.
Anna Weyant (Canada, 2013 / 2019) is having a solo exhibition, Welcome To The Dollhouse, at 56 Henry Gallery, New York, New York from September 14 to November 9, 2019.
Aleah Chapin (USA, 2012 / 2014 / 2018) is having a solo exhibition, Aleah Chapin - What Happens at the Edge, at Flowers Gallery New York from September 12 to November 2, 2019.
Four grantees, Kendall Ayoub-Nichols (Canada, 1996 / 1998), Melissa Chen (Canada, 2017), Elaine Despins (Canada, 2008) and Leslie Watts (Canada,1986 / 2009 / 2013), are among the 30 finalists selected for the 2019 Kingston Prize, Canada's portrait competition! The Canada-wide competition for Canadian portrait painting and drawing is open to any Canadian artist who depicts a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant in a portrait based on a real life encounter. The jury panel for 2019 is composed of Catharine Mastin, Sarah Milroy and Phil Richards. The Prize of $20,000, and two Honourable Mention Awards of $2,000 each, will be awarded on October 17, 2019.