February 3, 2023
By Sharon McPike
Established in 2003, the United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) contracts with talented, professional American artists who represent diverse backgrounds and a variety of interests. The AIP was specifically designed with the objective of enriching and invigorating the designs of United States coins and medals. The program meets that goal by developing a pool of talented external artists who are prepared to work closely with the Mint staff, including the Mint’s chief engraver and medallic artists, to create and submit new designs for selected coin and medal programs throughout the year. Interested artists are highly encouraged to submit applications for consideration.
AIP artists’ designs are found on many coins and medals. In most cases, the artist’s initials appear on the final coins or medals, along with the initials of the Mint medallic artist who sculpted the selected designs. Artist information is included in historical documents, Certificates of Authenticity, and promotional materials.
Artists who join the AIP work under a task order contract from their own studios, providing candidate designs in the form of finished drawings. Under current AIP provisions, artists are paid $2,000 to $3,000 per assignment. In addition, artists receive a $5,000 bonus for every design selected for use on a coin or medal. Learn more about the design process and the selection of final designs.
The Mint is especially interested in artists who will bring innovative perspectives and utilize symbolism in their work to clearly and evocatively convey subjects and themes. From portraits and landscapes to depictions of notable achievements in American history, coin and medal designs require rendering a range of subjects and themes on a small space.
“This is such an extraordinary opportunity,” emphasizes Joe Menna, the 14th Chief Engraver of the United States Mint. “We not only participate in history, but make history in the works that we do. We also want to expand the reach beyond traditional illustrators and graphic designers to include all branches of popular art, including film concept designers, comic book artists, street artists, Lowbrow pop surrealist artists – any design driven industry you can think of – because great art comes in many forms.”
The Mint will be accepting applications for the program beginning January 30, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern Time (ET). Applicants must fill out an application form and submit five to ten images of work from their portfolio. Following Evaluation Phase One, the Mint may invite selected participants to join the AIP without further evaluation. Those applicants selected for further evaluation will be invited to Evaluation Phase Two, which will require the submission of a resume or CV, a web link to their online portfolio, and the development and submission of a demonstration design for which each selected artist will be paid a fee of $1,500.
To serve as an AIP designer, a candidate must be:
- A citizen of the United States
- At least 18 years old at the time of application submission
- A professional artist with work either published, produced, or exhibited in any design-driven media such as illustration, graphic design, animation, concept art, comics, collectibles, poster art, street art, tattoo art, or any other outlets where design integrity is at a premium
To be considered, artists must register online and submit their application, including images, by March 10, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern Time (ET).