Mary Alice Hadley Prize for Visual Art

The Mary Alice Hadley Prize is an investment in creative capital for Louisville – an opportunity for local artists to enhance their careers with an enrichment experience. The jurors for the Hadley Prize will place heavy emphasis on the quality of the enrichment experience opportunity and how, in turn, that experience could enrich Louisville’s art ecosystem. Artists applying for the Prize should clearly demonstrate how the enrichment experience would be critical to their professional and personal development.

The Mary Alice Hadley Prize for Visual Art is funded by the George and Mary Alice Hadley Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of Louisville. The Louisville Visual Art Association serves as the administrative partner to the project and competition process. For more information, or to submit an application, please contact

Past Awardees – Hadley Prize for Visual Art

“My proposal included three opportunities that would have both short- and long-term benefits to my career and experience as an artist, and for the community print shop and gallery, Calliope Arts, that I am starting with collaborator Rudy Salgado Jr.

Because printmaking incorporates a wide range of equipment and a diverse community of artists, it is of utmost importance to create as many connections with fellow printmaking studios (and individual printmakers) as possible, and to bring these ideas and methods of artistic support to Louisville.

The application described the award as providing a “tipping point” for a visual artist in Louisville. The elements within my proposal… will enrich and expand my artistic career and goal to run a printmaking studio. It moves my work forward in a way that I couldn’t without the prize.”

Susana Crum, Printmaker, 2013 Hadley Recipient 

“Winning the Hadley Prize was a game-changer for me, both professionally and personally. With funds from the award I was able to attend a weeklong intensive mosaic course under a mosaic master in Ravenna, Italy. Ravenna is known as the city of mosaic – a place to eat, sleep and breathe mosaic, which I wholeheartedly welcomed! The course taught me new techniques and theory, and equally important, I gained confidence and skill. In addition to hands-on art-making activities, I visited mosaic museums where I saw and studied myriad mosaic pieces from ancient Turkish carpets to crazy modern designs.

I left Ravenna with inspiration and aspirations. Professionally, the Hadley Prize award has afforded me a new level of credibility and it continues to lead me to art-making opportunities that would not have been likely without winning the award. Personally, I now find myself approaching my art with less insecurity and more boldness. I hope the winner of the 2015 award will have an experience as equally transforming as the life-changing encounters I experienced at the mosaic course in Ravenna, Italy.

Many thanks to the Community Foundation of Louisville and Louisville Visual Art for sponsoring the M. A. Hadley Prize – a potential game-changer for local artists!”

Tracy Pennington, Mosaic Artist, 2014 Hadley Recipient


Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and current members of the LVA living in the Louisville Metro area, which is defined as Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, Bullitt, Nelson, Meade, Trimble and Henry Counties in Kentucky; and Clark, Harrison, Floyd and Washington Counties in Indiana. This is a one-time prize; winners of the Hadley Prize are not eligible to apply in the future. The prize may be considered taxable income, so applicants should consult a tax professional. There is no submission fee to the Mary Alice Hadley Prize for Visual Art.

Artists working in the following media are eligible to apply: ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, graphic design, crafts, photography, video and/or film, and installation. Persons working in architecture and the performing arts are not eligible for this award. Emerging or established artists may apply. An emerging or an established artist could be someone who started working in the visual arts after age 50, but whom is in serious pursuit of achieving their full artistic potential.

Mary Alice Hadley (1911-1965) established one of Louisville, Kentucky’s most iconic and well-known potteries. Born into a family of clay tile makers, she exhibited an early interest in art and design and became a widely recognized painter, winning numerous awards and acclaim from New York to Los Angeles. In the late 1930’s Mary Alice began melding her artistic talent with her knowledge of clay ware, and the Hadley Pottery Company was formed in 1940. Many of Mary Alice’s original art pieces are on display in the Hadley Pottery factory in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisville, including several wall murals. She worked there until her death in 1965, and the creative inspiration that Mary Alice brought to her wares still lives today.

Hadley Pottery – In 1939, Mary Alice Hadley made dishes for her houseboat on the Ohio River. The creative result was a set of a custom dishes that caused such a stir among her friends and acquaintances that the idea for a business was born. With the help of her husband, George, the Hadley Pottery Company was formed early in 1940. The business prospered, attracting buyers and collectors from across the nation and around the world. After Mary Alice died in 1965, George Hadley continued to run the business until it was sold in 1979 to Louisville natives, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth W. Moore. In September 2009, new partners joined the Hadley Pottery ownership group, but operations remain largely the same as they were when the company was started. For more information, visit

The Community Foundation of Louisville was founded in 1984 and is the largest foundation in Kentucky with $430 million in assets and over 1,350 charitable funds. Each fund has its own name and charitable purpose as defined by its donors, with the common goal of transforming our community through charitable giving. In 2014 these funds awarded over 8,000 grants totaling $45 million to nonprofits in Louisville and beyond. For more information, visit