About Us - Our Mission


In 2000 painter Squeak Carnwath, sculptor Viola Frey, and community advocate Gary Knecht, incorporated the Artists' Legacy Foundation (ALF). Carnwath and Frey planned to leave their artwork to ALF and all three arranged to leave their estates to the Foundation. With nominal resources, ALF developed purposefully and thoughtfully during its early years. The founders established a vision centered on painters and sculptors coming together to support and encourage fellow artists through awards and grants, promoting and protecting the legacy of deceased "Legacy Artists," and generally supporting the visual arts, especially where the hand of the artist is a significant factor in making art.

After the death of Viola Frey in 2004, the Foundation received its first bequest. Frey's estate included her artwork and funds which provided ALF's initial endowment. This enabled the Foundation to hire an executive director in 2005 and launch the Artist Award program in 2007. The Artist Award program, currently one $25,000 annual award, is designed to encourage professional enrichment, while allowing recipients to spend more creative time in their studios. There are no restrictions on the use of the funds by the recipient.

Through publications, research, and exhibitions, the Foundation serves as a resource for scholars, curators and the general public by deepening their understanding of the work of Legacy Artists. Educational programs help inform artists about estate planning and the choices they need to make about their work throughout their careers.