More College Students & Professionals Asked to Help Design U.S. Coins & Medals

WASHINGTON – The United States Mint is inviting more artists from throughout America to participate in its Artistic Infusion Program to enrich and invigorate the design of United States coins and medals, by issuing a new “Call for Artists.” The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will again work as a partner with the United States Mint by assisting in the evaluation of artists’ applications.

Applications must be postmarked no later than February 11, 2005.

The new invitations seek up to two professional artists and up to 14 college and graduate- level visual arts students. They will supplement a pool of “Master Designers” and “Associate Designers” that was developed this year to be part of the rich history of artistry in United States coinage. Current Master and Associate Designers will be invited to renew their agreements with the United States Mint and remain in the program.

“This historic program has produced outstanding results in its first year,” said United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore. “For the 2005 nickel, the program’s artists have created a striking new obverse portrait of President Thomas Jefferson, and reverse designs of the “American Bison” and “Ocean in View!” that revisit and revitalize the honored traditions of American coinage. With this new call to artists, we again seek the best in America, to lend their creativity to our Nation’s coins and medals.”

The United States Mint issued its first nationwide “Call for Artists” in November 2003. The United States Mint received 306 applications. A panel assembled for the United States Mint by the NEA evaluated the artists’ applications and recommended 18 professional Master Designers and six student Associate Designers. The Artistic Infusion Program currently provides for 20 artists in each of the two categories.

For purposes of the Artistic Infusion Program, professional artists are those who have received specialized training in their art form, have derived their individual primary sources of earned income from their art or areas related to their art for a minimum of five years at the time of application, and have publicly presented their art in a professional context. To qualify as an “Associate Designer,” students must be currently enrolled in college and graduate-level 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.

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

Click here to access the application on line,

or contact the United States Mint at (202) 354-7727 or at 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)