Announcing the Melissa M. Lackman IEA Mentoring Grant

About Melissa Lackman 

Melissa served as an active IEA Board member for more than a decade, serving in a variety of leadership roles. Shortly after joining the board in 2013, Melissa was elected President. She served in that role until reaching the end of her 4-year-term and then served as Vice-President.

In 2020, she took on the role of Grants Director and served in that role until her passing. Those of us who had the good fortune of working with her frequently describe her as “a rock”—steadfast in her support, compassion, and encouragement of others.

About the grant

This new grant initiative is for artists of any age who are in the early stages of their career as wax-media artists and who are seeking assistance to support their artistic and professional growth by engaging with an IEA Mentor.

In this initial round of grants, we are seeking to provide a $1000 stipend towards 12 hours of mentoring, over a six to twelve-month period, for three or more artists who have already taken initial steps to exhibit their work and to share it online.

Our Mentoring Grant initiative is named in honor of Melissa Morton Lackman's many contributions to the encaustic community through her leadership roles that spanned more than a decade. As IEA Grants Director, the position held until her recent passing, Melissa was passionate about getting support and resources out to IEA members through a variety of grant programs.

In conversations with Melissa over the past year, we realized that launching a mentorship program could fill a need for artists who are relatively new to encaustics, allowing them to benefit from the experience and wisdom of more established encaustic artists. A mentorship grant could, therefore, be a benefit for both new and experienced IEA members.

Sadly, Melissa died unexpectedly in early spring while undergoing treatment for leukemia.

Determined to bring Melissa's vision to fruition, IEA Board Members worked with a small group of mentors to launch a pilot round of the Melissa M. Lackman IEA Mentoring Grant initiative. We look forward to learning from this pilot and then expanding the mentorship program to include more mentors and to support more mentees in 2025.

Learn more about Melissa Morton Lackman by reading our tribute to her

in the Spring 2024 issue of Wax Fusion.


  • You are a current member of International Encaustic Artists and continue your membership throughout the grant period, August 2024 through August 2025. (Not current? You can join or renew here.)
  • You have some experience as an encaustic artist and have taken some initial steps towards sharing your work in exhibitions and online. 
  • You are ready to make a substantial commitment of time over a 6 to 12-month period to meet with your mentor and to complete work between sessions.
  • You are prepared to contribute $200 towards the $1200 cost of mentoring (with IEA awarding the remaining $1000.)
  • You agree to write a brief reflection at the half-way mark and at the conclusion of your mentorship.

The Application Process

Our Melissa M. Lackman IEA Mentoring Grant submission form provides detailed guidance on what you will need to do to submit for a mentoring grant, including the following items:

    • Complete a self-assessment: you will reflect on your current art practice and professional presence and indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with a series of statements.
    • Based on that self-assessment, you will identify areas for growth in artistic practice and in professional presence.
    • You'll then envision where you hope to see yourself after a year of working with a mentor.
    • After that, you'll ensure that you have time over the next year to fully engage in a mentorship relationship.
    • Review IEA Mentors and identify 3 or 4 potential mentors and describe how each of those mentors may support your growth. Please note that we can not guarantee that you will be matched with a specific mentor, although we hope to match you with one of the mentors you identify.
    • Attach samples of your work, links to your online presence (website, social media), a brief bio, and a resume that includes your education and workshop history, plus an optional artist statement.

Once you start your application form, you can save it and return to it later!

Just click the SAVE button and you will receive an email from IEA Admin with a link to go back to your form. (It may take a few minutes for the system to generate that email.)

Important Dates

    • June 1, 2024: Grant application window opens
    • June 30, 2024: Grant deadline, midnight PT
    • July 31, 2024: Notification of grant award decision

Questions? Email IEA President Regina B. Quinn:

Grant Applications are Due Sunday, June 30, midnight Pacific Time

Applicants will receive notification of the review committee's decision in late July.

Best of luck to you!

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