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 1600 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.
Leslie Watts (Canada, 1986 / 2009 / 2013) is one of two winners of an Honourable Mention awarded by the members of the jury in this year’s edition of the Kingston Prize for Canadian Portraiture. Leslie’s award-winning portrait, Stefan, 23, a work in egg tempera, was also included in the prestigious BP Portrait Award 2014 Exhibition. The Kingston Prize is a Canada-wide competition and exhibition tour for Canadian portrait painting. Established in 2005 to promote excellence in contemporary portraiture and to raise public understanding and appreciation of the work of Canadian artists, the competition has only three juried awards: one winner and two honourable mention awards.
Elaine Despins (Canada, 2008) was awarded the Grand Prize for her pastel "Les mains de ma mère" at the 20th international exhibition of the Pastel Society of Eastern Canada presented this year at Galerie Z, in Montreal, Quebec, from October 39 to November 8.
The works of four grantees, David Leffel (USA, 1964), Patricia Watwood (USA, 1997), Juliette Aristides (USA, 2003) and Teresa Oaxaca (USA, 2007/2008) are exhibitied in a group show, Still Life and Florals, held at John Pence Gallery, in San Francisco, from October 16 to November 11, 2015. David, Patricia and Teresa will also be part of the gallery’s group show, Figures and Interiors, running from November 20 to December 19, 2015.
Patricia Watwood (USA, 1997) is having a solo exhibition of paintings and drawings, New Narratives, at Dacia Gallery, in New York, N.Y., from November 18 to December 13, 2015.
Daniel Greene (USA, 1963) and Sharon Sprung (USA, 1976) are part of a group exhibition, Still Life, being held at Gallery Henoch, in New York, N.Y., from November 5 to November 28, 2015.
Steven Assael (USA, 1979 / 1990) is having a solo exhibition, New Paintings and Drawings, at Forum Gallery, in New York, N.Y., from November 12 to December 31, 2015.
Two grantees are holding exhibitions at Mira Godard Gallery in Toronto, Ontario this autumn. New Drawings, an exhibition of the work of Michael Thompson (Canada, 1977 / 1978) runs from October 17 to November 7. It is immediately followed by an exhibition of the work of Joseph Siddiqi (Canada, 2002 / 2004), New Paintings, from November 14 to December 12.
The work of acclaimed Canadian artist Christopher J. Cran (Canada, 1979) will be celebrated in three major exhibitions in the coming months. The first, Inherent Virtue, will be held at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, in Lethbridge, Alberta, from September 26 to November 22, 2015. This exhibition is part of a multi-partner survey of Cran's work, with exhibitions of a second show, Sincerely Yours, to be held at the Art Gallery of Alberta, from September 12, 2015 to January 3, 2016, and the National Gallery of Canada, starting May 12, 2016. Over 100 works surveying Cran’s artistic production over the last 30 years will be displayed.