Susan Benson establishes new fund for artists



A new fund for visual artists has been established by Susan Benson and Salt Spring Arts.

Artists in need living on Salt Spring Island can apply for grants, with preference given to female artists who are committed to building their creative careers.

Benson first announced her intention to establish the fund during her acceptance speech at the 2021 Salt Spring National Art Prize awards ceremony, when her Parallel Art Show piece The Meaning of Symbols: The Meaning of Memories was awarded both First Place Peoples’ Choice Award and the Juror’s Choice Award, Honourable Mention. As part of the speech, she recalled that during her training at art college during the late 1950s, women were told they would not become artists.

Benson is well known for her portraiture and painting, with numerous exhibitions on Salt Spring and across Canada. She has a portrait in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery of Canada, and was a semi-finalist in the prestigious BP Portrait Award in London, England. Benson was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts in 1986.

A total of $5,000 in grants will be available between 2022 and 2024 and awarded with the regular Salt Spring Arts grants and awards cycle (Oct. 31 and April 30).

Full details and the application form will be available online as of Sept. 1 at

Benson’s exhibit titled We are Such Stuff as Dreams are Made on is on the Artcraft Showcase Exhibition stage through Aug. 22.

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