Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Hadley Prize for Visual Art?

The Hadley Prize for Visual Art is a $5,000 cash prize that recognizes artists who live in the greater Louisville, KY, area and who demonstrate a commitment to and potential for growth within their chosen medium in the visual arts. The prize is designated for enrichment experiences that will help the winning artist pursue their personal and professional ambitions and achieve their full artistic potential. One prize is distributed every year.

Who is eligible to apply?

Artists working in the following media are eligible to apply: ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed-media, printmaking, graphic design, crafts, photography, video and/or film, and installation. Artists working in architecture and the performing arts are not eligible for this award. Both emerging and established artists are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. How to you define the greater Louisville area? The greater Louisville area 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.

What is an enrichment experience?

An enrichment experience is a “tipping point” experience that will enhance the artists’ professional capabilities in a tangible way and allow them to take their artwork to the next level. Apprenticeships, conferences, and workshops are all enrichment experiences; a road trip, retreat, and in-community residency would all be considered enrichment experiences, when articulately and explicitly linked to the artists’ goals and vision. The Hadley Prize selection committee will place more emphasis on the quality of the enrichment experience opportunity and less emphasis on the artists’ work itself. Artists applying for the Prize should clearly demonstrate how the enrichment experience would be critical to their professional and personal development and how the broader community might benefit.


Can I use my Hadley Prize funds to create a piece of art?

Hadley Prize funds should not be used to purchase supplies, to outfit a studio, to pay for rent, or to cover your daily recurring expenses as a working artist. The Hadley Prize is designed to support an enrichment experience for the artist. No more than 10% of the prize may be used on these expenses.

How have previous Hadley Prize winners used their funds?

Previous winners have traveled to Italy to study with a master of their craft; visited printmaking shops around the country to research practices; attended fairs and conferences; and pursued a mentorship acquiring new techniques.

Who was Mary Alice Hadley?

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.

How will the Hadley Prize winner be selected?

A first round of vetting/review will be completed by LVA and CFL staff to ensure that the application is complete and the applicant meets the minimum qualifications. Applications will then be reviewed by a jury; the jury may consist of artists, collectors, curators, instructors, and previous Hadley Prize winners. A different jury is selected every year. The review and jurying process are blind, meaning the applicants names are not reveled to the jurors. Each juror will recommend three applicants for the prize. Those recommended applicants will go into an intense final jury review until the jurors agree upon a recipient of the Hadley Prize.

What else should I know before I apply?

Be creative and bold in your thinking. What is an experience that would be transformational for you as an artist? Why is receiving this award important to your journey as an artist? Be sure to articulate how this experience links to your goals and vision as an artist. During a "tie" the jurors have been known to give some weight to projects that have a local community impact; for example, the applicant plans to provide four free, community-based workshops after they return from their apprenticeship. You may want to consider this as you develop your proposal and clarify any additional community benefit.

How do I apply?

Applicants and interested community members can find additional information online at The required application for the 2018 Hadley Prize is available at the same site.