The designs on United States coins and medals are more than simple illustrations on small metal discs; they are expressions of the values, aspirations, and shared heritage of our Nation. They serve as illustrations to the world of the essence and the story of America. We endeavor to ensure that the designs on United States coins and medals are of the highest quality to best represent our country for years to come.
The United States Mint established the Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) in 2003 to enrich and invigorate United States coin and medal designs by contracting with a pool of talented, professional American artists representing diverse backgrounds and a variety of interests. These artists in concert with the United States Mint Sculptor-Engravers create and submit new designs for United States coins and medals.
AIP artists have submitted successful designs for the Fifty States Quarters Program® and the current America the Beautiful Quarters® Program, the Presidential and Native American $1 Coin Programs, the First Spouse Gold Coins, American Eagle Platinum Proof Coins, more than a dozen commemorative coin programs, and a variety of Congressional Gold medals. In addition, AIP artists designed the current reverse on the one-cent coin and the current obverse on the nickel.
Artists in the AIP program are contracted, professional artists that may work from any location. Artists may be asked to design several coins and commemorative medals throughout the year as opportunities arise. Artists of selected designs are named as designer in historical documents, Certificates of Authenticity and promotional materials. In most cases, the artist's initials appear on the final coins or medals (along with the initials of the United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver who sculpted the selected design).
The United States Mint is partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to facilitate the recruitment and selection of artists for the AIP. The NEA is providing the technology systems through which artists’ submissions will be received and evaluated. The United States Mint is now inviting artists from across the country to apply to the AIP through a “Call for Artists.”