Chance for College Students and Professionals to Help Design U.S. Coins and Medals

WASHINGTON – The United States Mint invites American artists to participate in its new Artistic Infusion Program to help design U.S. coins and medals. The program will provide an opportunity for artists to be part of the rich history of artistry in United States coinage. The United States Mint is notifying colleges, art publications and art associations of its “Call for Artists.”

“Coin design is a fine, ancient art,” said United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore. “Artistic Infusion will mark a historic change in the United States Mint’s 211 year history. We are looking forward to working with a group of great American artists, as we seek enduring images that reflect a great Nation’s values.”

The National Endowment for the Arts has partnered with the United States Mint to evaluate artists’ applications. Applications must be postmarked no later than January 9, 2004.

The program will establish a pool of up to 20 professional artists, “Master Designers.” For purposes of the Artistic Infusion Program, professional or established artists are those who have received specialized training in their art form, have derived their principal income from their art for at least five years and have publicly presented their art in a professional context. The program will also include up to 20 college and graduate-level students, “Associate Designers,” who are currently enrolled in a visual arts program.

Artists who specialize in graphic design, sculpture, engraving, drawing, painting, printmaking and other visual arts are encouraged to apply. Master and Associate Designers selected for the program will enter into one-year renewable agreements with the United States Mint. They will be invited to create and submit at least one new design annually for a coin or medal program. Each Master Designer submitting a design will receive an honorarium of $1000. Associate Designers will receive $500. United States Mint sculptor/engravers will model the designs submitted by the Artistic Infusion Program artists.

“We are in a renaissance of coin design and collecting,” said Director Fore. “It is the first time a pool of artists will be part of an established program to provide designs for U.S. coins and medals. We are inviting American artists to participate, because great artistry enriches our culture. Coins reflect that artistry and serve as our ambassadors when they travel throughout the world.”

Selected artists will attend a Mint-sponsored orientation program in Philadelphia to learn about the history of coin and medal design, the coin-making process and upcoming design opportunities.

Artists who are U.S. citizens should submit a completed application that will include samples of their work. A design exercise for applicants will also be required. Interested artists are required to use the “Call for Artists Application Packet,” which includes program details, eligibility requirements, artistic criteria and detailed application guidelines. The packet is available on the United States Mint’s website at www.usmint.gov or by contacting the United States Mint at (202) 354-7727 or art@usmint.treas.gov. Submissions will be evaluated on artistic excellence and merit.

Created by Congress in 1792, the United States Mint is the manufacturer of legal tender coinage for the United States. The United States Mint’s 50 State Quarters® Program is the most popular coin program in U.S. history. The United States Mint also produces commemorative coins and congressional medals honoring individuals and events of special meaning to the American people and bullion coins from a variety of precious metals.

Contact:
Press inquiries: Michael White (202) 354-7222
Customer Service information: (800) USA MINT (872-6468)