Student Kelsey Shwetz Awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant

BY Catherine Fisher, October 15, 2021

Visual Arts student Kelsey Shwetz has been awarded a second grant by the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation


This award is one of the most prestigious grants for early career artists. It was created in 1955 by Charles Glass Greenshields in memory of his mother, Elizabeth. Each grant goes to an emerging artist working in a representational mode. This well-regarded award has launched many young artists’ careers. 


In her drawings and paintings, Shwetz explores artificial nature. Centering human-caused climate change and the idea of the Anthropocene, her paintings offer a glimpse into a world where only relics of the natural remain. Nature is the focal point; the only figure that resides in the landscape is the viewer. She tries to create a space where the viewer feels both an identification and an ironic distance from what is depicted on the canvas, and a natural environment that is familiar but slightly askew.

Kelsey Shwetz is a Canadian-born painter now based in New York. She has been a visiting artist at Pratt Institute and Laguardia Community College. She is the recipient of the Edward Mazzella Scholarship, the Ellen Gelman Fellowship, and the Three Arts Club Scholarship. She was awarded fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center and CanSerrat Residency in Barcelona, and grants from Canada Council for the Arts, The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, and the Mayer Foundation. Her most recent solo exhibition was at Casa Equis in Mexico City in April 2021.

Kelsey Shwetz, Greenhouse, oil on canvas, 2020

Kelsey Shwetz, Build It Again, oil on canvas, 2020

Kelsey Shwetz, Window I and Window III (The Reach), oil on canvas, 2021