American Painters Aged 45 and Up, Take Notice

Are you American? Are you a painter? Are you 45 or older? Are you in financial need?

If you answered "yes" to all four of these questions, you're eligible for the Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant, which doles out anywhere from three to five grants each year ranging from $5,000 to $30,000.

Let's break down those requirements a bit futher:

  • American: As in, the United States. You must be a citizen or have permanent residency, though you can currently be living outside of the U.S.
  • Painter: The Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation defines painting as "the application of various media (oil, acrylic, gouache, ink, tempera, watercolor, egg tempera, casein) on paper, canvas, fabric, or wood.” It makes overt exclusions too, namely “mixed media, encaustic, collage, pastels, digital paintings, prints, and work in graphite or drawings.” The use of multiple paint mediums is allowed, so long as the work does not integrate any media from the excluded list.
  • Age 45 or older: You must hit this birthday by the time you submit your application.
  • Financial Need: The foundation doesn’t delve into it any further than to use that term, but its application—which is an open process—requires you to delve pretty deep into your current finances, including your art sale income, your household income, your living expenses, and more. The foundation sees this financial component and emeshed with artistic pursuits. As the foundation’s website explains it, Orlowsky in particular “was sensitive to the challenges artists face, especially those working against the mainstream or outside of popular schools of art. Her desire to provide financial support to mature artists. . . speaks to her passionate commitment to art for art’s sake and art created regardless of the demands and whims of the market place.”

And that brings us to the qualification not yet described: The artistic work itself. This is a very competitve grant (nearly 500 applicants in 2014 with five grants ultimately awarded). So how do you aesthetically make the cut? The foundation doesn’t give an explicit answer; it just expects the work to show “artistic quality” and “creative ability.”

If you're still liking your chances, the next round of applications are due on April 1st.

Related - Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation: Grants for Visual Arts