Shirl Smithson Memorial Scholarships

Established in 1991, the Oil Painters of America is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the pursuit of representational art. Oil Painters of America (OPA) offers four $500 scholarships appropriately named after its founding member, Shirl Smithson.  The Shirl Smithson Memorial Scholarships are open to all current Associate members.

Scholarships are awarded annually and applications for consideration must be received by December 1. Three of the four scholarships are designated for active OPA members and one scholarship is awarded to a part or full-time student currently enrolled in art school or an art related program. (Students need not be OPA members to apply)

Based on a review of the application materials, the scholarship committee will select four OPA members to receive a scholarship based on the quality and strength of the art work submitted and the potential for further development.  One scholarship is designated specifically for a student member who is currently enrolled as a full-time student.

Scholarships must be used to attend a workshop or class in representational oil painting. Award winners must receive approval from Oil Painters of America prior to enrolling or attending a workshop or class.  All scholarship funding will be sent directly from OPA to the designated workshop and/or class.

All Associate members are encouraged to apply.  Recipients of a scholarship are eligible to apply again.

By December 1, potential recipients should submit an application which includes an artist’s statement, artist’s resume and a CD containing six representational images of his/her work.  The request should be sent to the OPA General Office and designated “Scholarship Application.”  Applicants will be notified by March 1.

Download Application
Click here to download the Application

Shirl Smithson Memorial Scholarship Awardees

  • Nancy Boren
  • Diana Moses Botkin
  • Denise Imke
  • Barbara Zanelli Student
  • Jeffrey A. Love
  • Cathy Priest
  • Kathie Wheeler
  • Kelli Fulsom Student
  • Christine Debrosky
  • Ying Liu
  • Adam Nowak Student
  • Becky Joy
  • Renate Reuter
  • Diane White
  • Patricia Huber
  • Tom Hilscher
  • Katie Stearns
  • Katrina Weber Student
  • Jill Brabant
  • Danny Griego
  • Michael Chesley Johnson
  • Susan Ploughe
  • Scott Boyle
  • Christine Hooker
  • Doug Martin
  • V... Vaughan
  • Margaret Dyer
  • Jane Ford
  • Doug Martin
  • Anne Spoon Student
  • Roberta Remy
  • Ryan Schultz Student
  • Cody DeLong
  • Ryan Shultz



  Shirl Smithson
Shirl Smithson
Oil Painters of America
P.O. Box 2488
Crystal Lake, Illinois
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