United States Mint Selects Three New Artists to Design Nation’s Coins

April 28, 2005
Two Professionals and One Student Join Artistic Infusion Program

WASHINGTON — The United States Mint has selected two additional professional artists and one student artist to participate in the second year of the United States Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program. The artists join a pool of 24 Master Designers and Associate Designers in the Program. They will be invited to submit new designs for selected coin and medal programs throughout the year.

The new professional artists who will be designated “Master Designers” are Joel Iskowitz of Woodstock, New York, and Bobby Lanier of Fayetteville, Tennessee. Iskowitz is an illustrator who has created stamps for more than 40 nations. He has also contributed illustrations to the NASA Art Collection at the Kennedy Space Center Museum. Lanier is a graphic designer and illustrator for an aerospace corporation, creating conceptual paintings and drawings.

The new student artist, who will be designated an “Associate Designer,” is Matthew Shlian of the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He is a Master of Fine Arts Candidate in the class of 2006. Shlian is from Easton, Connecticut.

The first designs created by the Artistic Infusion Program designers are the three new images (one obverse, two reverse) that are appearing on the Nation’s new 2005 5–cent coins (nickels) as part of the Westward Journey Nickel Series™. The images were selected from 144 designs submitted by the United States Mint sculptor–engravers and the original 24 artists in the Artistic Infusion Program.

The newly selected artists — Mr. Iskowitz, Mr. Lanier and Mr. Shlian — will attend a symposium at the United States Mint at Philadelphia from April 27 to April 29 to learn about the history of coin and medal design, the coin–making process and upcoming design opportunities. The newly selected Master and Associate Designers 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 $1,000. Associate Designers will receive $500. An artist whose design is subsequently selected for a coin or medal project will receive a $1,000 fee. The United States Mint renewed its agreements with the original 24 Master and Associate Designers who remain in the program.

The United States Mint issued its first nationwide “Call for Artists” on November 20, 2003. On November 4, 2004, the United States Mint issued a second Call to Artists. The new Call for Artists sought up to two professional artists and up to 14 college and graduate–level visual arts students to supplement the pool of “Master Designers” and “Associate Designers.” A panel assembled for the United States Mint by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) met and reviewed the applications against the established set of criteria. Subsequently, a United States Mint designer evaluation panel reviewed the applications and considered the recommendations of the NEA panel. The Director of the United States Mint selected the new artists based on that panel’s recommendations.

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 United States 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.

The full list of Artistic Infusion Program artists follows.


Joel Iskowitz, Woodstock, NY – Illustrator.

Bobby Lanier, Fayetteville, TN – Graphic designer and illustrator.

Leonard E. Buckley, Damascus, MD – Former bank note designer with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, now doing watercolor painting and calligraphy.

Stephen M. Clark, Post Falls, ID – Wildlife painter, freelance designer and medallic sculptor.

Thomas S. Cleveland, Houston, TX – Commercial graphic designer.

Charles Danek, Los Angeles, CA – Photographic producer.

Joe Fitzgerald, Silver Spring, MD – Computer graphics, woodcuts, pastels and oil paintings.

Jamie Franki, Concord, NC – Illustrator, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

Sharon Fullingim, Socorro, NM – Sculptor in bronze, limestone and marble.

Susan Gamble, Tinker AFB, OK – Graphic designer and illustrator.

Howard Koslow, Toms River, NJ – Painter and illustrator.

Bill Krawczewicz, Severna Park, MD – Bank note designer, Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Justin Kunz, Sandy, UT – Contemporary realist painter and graphic designer.

Michael Leidel, Marietta, GA – Graphic designer, acrylic and oil painter.

Richard Masters, Appleton, WI – Illustrator, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.

Erik Must, Lakewood, NJ – Illustrator.

John Nordyke, West Hartford, CT – Graphic designer, Assistant Professor, University of Hartford.

Garland “Neal” Taylor, Durant, OK – Western and historical illustrator in oils and sculpture.

Joanne C. Wasserman, Silver Spring, MD – Commercial designer and calligrapher.

Mary Beth Zeitz, Marlton, NJ – Graphic designer and illustrator.


Matthew Shlian – Master of Fine Arts Candidate, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Rebecca Armstrong – Illustration major, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Analee Kasudia – Graphic design major, Columbia College, Chicago.

Joseph LiCalzi – Bas–Relief study, Fleischer Art Memorial, the Frank Gasparro Studio, Philadelphia.

Amy Mortensen – Photographic illustration major, University of Connecticut, Storrs.

Patrick J. Quill – Marketing and art studio double major, University of Notre Dame.

Georgina Smigen–Rothkopf – Painting, drawing and illustration, The School of Art Institute of Chicago.


# # #

United States Mint – Connecting America through Coins

Press Inquiries: Office of Corporate Communications (202) 354-7222
Customer Service Information: (800) USA MINT (872-6468)

A list of linkable tags for topics mentioned on this page.