2019 Mary Alice Hadley Prize for Visual Art


Version en español

SUBMISSIONS FOR THE 2019 HADLEY PRIZE HAS CLOSED. Thank you for your interest.

The Mary Alice Hadley Prize for Visual Art is an investment in creative capital for Louisville, recognizing artists who demonstrate a commitment to and potential for growth within their chosen medium in the visual arts. The $5,000 prize is designated to support enrichment experiences that will assist the winning artist to pursue personal and professional ambitions, achieve their full artistic potential, and thereby enrich Louisville’s art ecosystem. There is no submission fee.

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and live in the Louisville Metro area: Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, Bullitt, Nelson, Meade, Trimble and Henry Counties in Kentucky; Clark, Harrison, Floyd, and Washington Counties in Indiana. This is a one-time prize; previous winners of the Hadley Prize are not eligible to apply for the Hadley Prize again.

Artists working in the following media are eligible: ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed-media, printmaking, graphic design, crafts, photography, video and/or film, and installation. Those working in architecture and the performing arts are not eligible for this award. Both emerging and established artists are encouraged to apply.

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. Louisville Visual Art oversees public relations and communication for the prize, as well as application review and selection of the recipient. For more information, please contact amy@louisvillevisualart.org

Have questions? Visit the M.A. Hadley FAQ page here.

The recipient of the M.A. Hadley Prize will be announced the second week of June.

Listen to this edition of "LVA's Artebella" radio program for helpful tips, too!

Past Awardees – Hadley Prize for Visual Art

The Community Foundation of Louisville, in partnership with Louisville Visual Art,
is pleased to announce that Louisville-based multi-media artist

KCJ Szwedzinski

is the winner of the 2018 Mary Alice Hadley Prize for Visual Art.


Louisville Visual Art will honor KCJ Szwedzinski on Thursday, June 21, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in their
Portland gallery at 1538 Lytle Street, 40203. The reception is free and open to the public.

“My most recent body work has been on Jewish memory, identity and legacy," said Szwedzinski. "As an artist, I am continually mindful of who I intend as my audience. I question why it is important for me to make work about Judaism and how my work connects to contemporary issues.”

Szwedzinski will use the award to visit the Jewish Contemporary Museum and the Holocaust Center in San Francisco, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Archives in Washington, D.C., and the Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as well as to take a course at the Rare Book School in Philadelphia.

Szwedzinski's itinerary has been designed to fuse personal history and artistic inspiration, "to synthesize seemingly disparate bodies of knowledge - archival practices for historical information and my personal inherited legacies." 

“This experience will broaden my ability to make work that is rooted in my own Judaic heritage,” said Szwedzinski, “while facilitating engagement of a more universal audience.”

2017 Mary Alice Hadley Prize for Visual Art

Adrienne Miller

The Community Foundation of Louisville, in partnership with Louisville Visual Art, presented Louisville-based artist and printmaker Adrienne Miller with the fifth annual Mary Alice Hadley Prize for Visual Art

Miller will use the prize to research the landscape and art historical influence of the Four Corners area of the American Southwest. The two-week trip will cover close to 2,000 miles in a loop through the Four Corners region and will include a variety of stops, including several different pueblo ruin sites, printmaking studios in Albuquerque, the Georgia O’Keefe museum and archives, several National Parks, energy vortexes in Sedona, and several large earthworks in the region.

“I want the experience to be transformative and immersive so that I come away feeling as though the experience really was a tipping point for me,” said Miller of the Hadley Prize enrichment experience. “I want to return to Louisville renewed to create a whole new body of work.”

“The selection committee was very impressed with Adrienne’s clear artistic vision and the unique nature of her enrichment experience,” said LVA director Lindy Casebier. “Her focus on landscape, both as a part of the American identity and as a driver of her own work, really stood out.”

“The local artists competing for the Hadley Prize continue to impress us with their originality and passion,” said Susan Barry, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Louisville. “While this award focuses on a single artist and a single project, it has the potential to make a much greater impact. By helping Adrienne develop professionally to realize her full potential, she will be empowered to share her gifts with other artists and the Louisville community.”

2016 M.A. Hadley Prize Winner
Rebecca Norton

rebecca norton.jpeg

2015 M.A. Hadley Prize Winner
Julie Leidner

"The Hadley Prize enabled me and my collaborator Katy Delahanty to travel to Brooklyn to attend the 2015 New York Art Book Fair and Conferences at P.S.1 MoMA. There we engaged in discussions with notable art book scholars, and immersed ourselves in panels about the way that books function in the 21st century--particularly through the lens of visual art--and how books can become art exhibitions in and of themselves. We visited relevant art exhibitions all around New York City, and made connections with other artists and book publishers. This experience opened our eyes to the complex history of art books—from the legacy of Olympia Press in Paris in the 1950’s, to the present-day Badlands Unlimited book series created by artist/activist Paul Chan—and gave us a toolkit for developing our own forthcoming art book. Katy and I returned from our trip to New York with new perspectives on the relationship between text and image, and a galvanized concern for the way that art books can function as agents of social change."

Julie Leidner, 2015 Hadley Recipient

2014 M.A. Hadley Prize Winner
Tracy Pennington

“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

2013 M.A. Hadley Prize Winner
Susana Crum

“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

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 www.hadleypottery.com.

The Community Foundation of Louisville is the largest charitable foundation in Kentucky with over $485 million in assets and more than 1,450 different funds, each with a charitable purpose defined by the donor. In calendar year 2016, the Community Foundation made 9,000 grants totaling $52 million to local, national and national nonprofits. As a leader in philanthropy, we connect donors, nonprofits and civic partners to create lasting impact in community. We have the expertise to help you do more than you ever thought possible with your charitable giving. Join us in being a force for good in our community. For more information, visit www.cflouisville.org and follow us on Twitter at @cflouisville.