Amount Awarded: $5,000
Number of Awards: 4
Eligible Disciplines: Visual
Eligible Counties: All
Deadline: March 27, 2023 at 11:59pm
About the SOLA Awards
SOLA (Support Old Lady Artists) Awards are four unrestricted awards of $5,000 given annually to Washington State female-identified visual artists, age 60 or over, who have dedicated 25 years or more to creating art.
Founded in 2016 by Seattle artist Ginny Ruffner, the SOLA Award seeks to encourage and celebrate womens’ achievements in the arts. Ginny and friends’ generous contributions to this award seek to honor, encourage and celebrate the lifetime contributions of women whose artwork has not been sufficiently or widely recognized. Learn more about Ginny Ruffner here.
In 2022, SOLA has added another $5,000 award for an accomplished female-identified visual artist, 60 years and older with at least 25 years creating a body of work. This 4th SOLA Award will specifically honor a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) artist. This additional funding is part of an overall strategy by SOLA and Artist Trust to reverse historic inequities in arts funding programs, and move resources to Washington State communities with more limited access to other funding for individual artists.
We define BIPOC artists as individuals identifying as one or more of the following ethnicities:
Alaskan Native, Asian/Asian-American/Pacific Islander or Hawaiian, Black/African/African-American, Latinx, Middle Eastern, Native American or Indigenous, or South Asian
To learn more about the 2023 SOLA Awards, see the guidelines below. To learn how to apply for the 2023 SOLA Awards, check out our How to Apply webinar below.
- artistic excellence;
- the professional background of the artist;
- evidence of continuing dedication to artistic discipline
The Twining Humber and SOLA Awards panel consists of three artists or arts professionals from across Washington State with expertise in visual arts. For example, the panel may include a painter, an installation artist, and a sculptor. Panelists have several weeks to review and score applications through Submittable. While reviewing applications, panelists are asked to apply a lens of racial equity. They meet to discuss the highest-ranking applicants and choose one recipient based on the selection criteria. 2022 panels will be held virtually via Zoom.
January 27 Guidelines available.
February 27 Application opens.
March 2, 9, & 10 Office Hours.
March 16 Study Hall.
March 27 Application closes.
April – May Panel review.
May Board votes.
May Notification of award status.
June Public announcement.
The 2023 SOLA (Support Old Lady Artists) Awards is open to female-identified visual artists living in Washington State, age 60 or over, who have dedicated 25 years or more to creating art.
APPLICANTS MUST BE:
- A female-identified visual artist; 60 years of age or older by March 27, 2023;
- Washington State residents at the time of application and payment;
- A practicing artist who has dedicated 25 years or more to creating art.
APPLICANTS MUST NOT BE: Graduate or undergraduate matriculated students enrolled in any degree program at the deadline date of March 27, 2023;
- Recipients of another Artist Trust grant in 2023;
- Applying on behalf of a company, nonprofit, organization, or community group.
- Current Artist Trust staff, Board of Trustees, honorary committee, consultants, contractors, current Twining Humber / SOLA panelists, or their immediate family.
The Twining Humber Award and SOLA Awards may only be received once. Previous recipients of the Twining Humber Award may not apply for the SOLA Awards. Previous recipients of SOLA may apply for the Twining Humber Award.
Can I apply for an award from Artist Trust?
To apply for one of our awards, you must be an artist, 18 years or older, residing in Washington State.
Most of our awards are open to artists of all disciplines with two exceptions – the Twining Humber Award and SOLA Awards are open to self-identified female visual artists age 60 or older, who have dedicated 25 years or more to creating art. Proof of residency, such as a copy of a Driver’s License or a utility bill, is required if you’re selected for an award.
You may not be currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate degree program at the time of the deadline, and you may not apply on behalf of a company, nonprofit, organization, community group, or a fiscally-sponsored entity.
Each of our awards has additional eligibility requirements. For example, for the Fellowship Award, you cannot receive more than two awards in a lifetime. Eligibility requirements can be found on page 2 of the respective award’s guidelines.
Where can I find help with my application?
We offer several support services and resources to help you with your application, including virtual Office Hours and Study Hall, workshops, reference guides, and other resources. These are listed in the guidelines and on our website. You can also request feedback on unsuccessful applications. Information on how to request feedback is included in the email notification about your application.
What do I do if I’m having technical difficulties with my grant application?
If you aren’t able to sign into Submittable, have questions about uploading or formatting files, or other technical questions, visit https://submittable.help/
How are the awards selected?
All of our awards are selected by an independent selection panel made up of 3-5 artists and arts professionals with a depth of knowledge and expertise. Panelists review all eligible applications online through Submittable and meet online via Zoom to discuss applications and recommend recipients. Panelists are asked to review all applicants through a lens of racial equity and consider geographic diversity. The panel selects the recipients based on the award’s selection criteria.
Our selection panels change each grant cycle. Panelists must wait three years before they can serve on another selection panel and must wait five years before they can serve on a panel for the same awards program.
Selection panelists are chosen by our staff. In selection panelists, we seek a committee that represents an intersection of race/ethnicity, gender, geography, career stage, discipline, and artistic practice. Our staff and Board do not select any of the awardees.
How does racial equity impact the selection of awardees?
We have a strong commitment to racial equity throughout our organization. Within our award programs, we ask selection panelists to review all applications through a lens of racial equity. This means when a panelist is considering an applicant we ask them to be mindful of structural, institutional, and historical barriers artists of color face and how those barriers may impact their work and their career.
Read more about applying a racial equity lens in this report on grantcraft.org compiled by the Foundation Center, a leader in the field of philanthropy.
Read more about our work towards racial equity here.
Can I re-apply? Or apply for more than one grant?
Yes, we encourage all applicants to re-apply. Many artists who have received awards don’t receive them on their first try. Our selection panels change each grant cycle, and work that one panel may not be excited by another panel may absolutely love. You can apply for as many grants as you’d like, but you can only receive one grant from us in a calendar year.
Do you accept late applications?
We do not accept late applications under any circumstances.
Can I make changes to my application after the deadline?
No, we do not allow changes to applications after the deadline.
What is a generative artist?
A generative artist means you are the originator of the works of art. Curatorial projects and adaptions are ineligible.
Can I receive a grant if my work has been funded elsewhere?
Yes. If you’re work has been funded elsewhere, include that information in your resume.
Can I submit a paper application?
No, we do not accept paper applications. Applications are only accepted through Submittable.
What disciplines are eligible?
All disciplines and artistic practices, including all forms of visual, literary, media, and performing arts, are eligible for our awards. The exceptions are the LaSalle Storyteller Award, which is open to fiction writers only, and the Twining Humber and SOLA Awards, which are open to female-identified visual artists age 60 or older, who have dedicated 25 years or more to creating art.
Can I apply as part of a collaboration or team?
A team of two or more artists may apply if you have a documented history of creating and presenting work as a team for at least three consecutive years. Artists applying as a team must contact Artist Trust to confirm eligibility before applying. If eligible, one artist will submit the application and list team members. All team members must meet the eligibility requirements for the respective award. Applications made on behalf of a company, nonprofit, organization, community group, or a fiscally-sponsored entity will not be accepted.
What’s the most important part of the application?
Your work samples are the most important part of your application. Spend the most time honing your samples. If you are submitting images, audio, or video, make sure your documentation is high quality. Be sure to follow the work sample guidelines.
The written parts of your application, such as the artist statement, impact statement, and project description, help panelists understand your vision, process, and philosophy and give context for the work in your work samples. Start on these parts early and have friends or colleagues read them. You can find examples of successful applications in our reference guides here. For tips and tricks on the written parts of your application, visit our Resources here.
I don’t have a resume. Should I apply?
If you don’t have a resume, you can still apply for grants from us. It’s best to start with our GAP Awards, which support many emerging artists and are often the first awards artists receive from us. You can find information about GAP here.
You will need to create a resume to apply for our awards. You can find examples of resumes in our reference guides, and many word processing programs, such as Microsoft Word, have resume templates. If you do not have extensive experience, consider including your education, training, artistic projects you’ve completed, or professional affiliations. In the end, what matters most to selection panelists is the strength of your work.
I can’t decide on my career stage. Will that affect the panelists’ decision?
Career stage is not a selection criteria for our awards and does not have an impact on whether or not you are chosen for an award.
If you have questions not addressed in this FAQ, please be in touch with our program staff here, or by calling (206) 467-8734.