Over the past thirty years, the Brucebo Foundation of Gotland, Sweden has offered truly exciting fine art scholarships to talented Canadian artists, preferably painters, providing them with unique and inspiring study and work environments in Europe in general, but more particularly on the island of Gotland - set in the middle of the blue, Baltic Sea of Northern Europe.
The origins of the Brucebo Fine Art scholarship programs goes back in time to the post-impressionistic era in Europe - the 1880's - a time when Paris was the undisputed center of artistic creativity. Two young artists, Caroline Bendicks of Sweden and William Blair Bruce of Hamilton, Canada, met in Paris, married and eventually, after many years on the European continent, established their home on the western shore of Gotland, a history laden Swedish island outpost, located approximately halfway between the Swedish mainland and the Baltic State of today's Latvia. With the untimely death of William already in 1906 and Caroline later, in 1935, the estate, in the late 60's and early 70's was in a position to create the Brucebo Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to the promotion of island-based cultural history, museum institutions and contemporary fine art.
In order to commemorate the very special Swedish-Canadian link of Caroline and William's marriage and artistic life, two Fine Art Scholarships for Canadians were established: the Brucebo Fine Art Summer Scholarship and the William Blair Bruce European Fine Art Travel Scholarship.
The Brucebo scholarship provides funding for a three-month's work stay at the Brucebo studio cottage, at Sjalso fishing village, 7 km. North of the Hanseatic and medieval City of Visby. The scholarship covers transport expenses, Canada-Visby/Gotland (return), free use of the studio cottage, plus a food stipend. The total value of the scholarship amounts to SEK 27,000.
The artist-in-residence is asked, upon leaving the island, to deposit a sample of his/her summer artwork with the Canadian Fine Art Collection of the Gotland Fine Art Museum, which over the years has built up one of the finest assemblages of contemporary Canadian Art outside of Canada.
The William Blair Bruce travel scholarship finances a systematic Fine Art European travel sojourn, to be undertaken either during the fall or winter. The tour can be part of a fine art related research project or of a thematic fine art study tour to various countries. Scholarship amount SEK 30,000.
As of Fall 2002 the scholarship program is administered by the Concordia University Faculty of Fine Art, Associate Dean's Office, Montréal and on a more practical level by Professor Emeritus Kathryn Lipke, Chair of the Brucebo Fine Art Scholarships Evaluation Committee.
For more detailed information about the scholarships please contact Dr. Jan O. Lundgren, Brucebo Foundation Liaison Officer in Canada, Geography Dpt., McGill University, 805 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2K6; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Kathryn Lipke, chair Brucebo evaluation committee - email@example.com