United States Mint and National Endowment for the Arts Announce Call for Artists

November 6, 2013
2014 Artistic Infusion Program Invites Artists to Design Nation’s Coins and Medals

WASHINGTON — The United States Mint and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) are pleased to announce a call for artists to participate in the Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program (AIP). Established in 2003, the AIP serves to enrich and invigorate the nation’s coins and medals by commissioning designs from a select pool of outstanding artists. Interested artists are invited to submit applications for consideration.

The Mint has partnered with the NEA to manage a new application and review process that is open to all U.S. citizens who are established in the fields of professional art or illustration. As part of the new process, the NEA will convene a review panel to examine all applications and recommend artists to submit demonstration designs. The Mint will pay $1,500 to each applicant for their demonstration design of a current coin or medal program. The review panel will make recommendations to the Mint for final selections. Application guidelines are posted on the NEA Web site at http://arts.gov/grants–individuals/united–states–mint–call–for–artists with an initial deadline of January 10, 2014.

“By partnering with the NEA, the Artistic Infusion Program will attract an even wider range of new and diverse artists to contribute to the design of America’s coins and medals,” said Mint Deputy Director Richard A. Peterson.

“I am thrilled that this program will present the creativity and vision of contemporary American artists in both the coins that we use every day, as well as in the medals that will be used to mark occasions and accomplishments of great importance,” said NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa. “We are proud to partner with the United States Mint, and we applaud the goals of their Artistic Infusion Program.’

The Mint expects to select up to 20 artists to participate in the AIP. Each of those artists will be awarded a contract for a one–year base period with options to extend up to five additional years. Contracted artists will be invited to submit designs for coins or medals in response to specific commissions from the Mint. Artists will be paid a fee for each commission as well as an additional $5,000 for each design ultimately selected for a coin or medal. Past AIP artists have created designs for high–profile coins such as those released through the 50 State Quarters Program and the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program, as well as American Eagle Platinum Coins, Presidential $1 Coins, and First Spouse Gold Coins.

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.

To apply for the AIP, artists must be U.S. citizens who are established professional artists, defined as one who meets all of the following criteria:

  • Has at least five years of relevant work experience or has received specialized training in his or her artistic field, such as a degree or certification
  • Derives a portion of his or her individual earned income from his or her art or areas related to his or her art
  • Has experience in digital art techniques such as use of Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, Illustrator, Wacom tablets, or similar technology
  • Has a professional portfolio that includes published or publicly displayed art

Applications and work samples will be reviewed on the basis of:

  • Ability to convey complex concepts with symbolism
  • Masterful application of ingenuity in interpreting the subject matter and conveying its theme
  • Demonstration that the applicant is adaptable to different subject matters and themes
  • Ability to render figures, portraits, animals, and landscapes with the use of perspective and scale

To be considered, artists must register online with www.Grants.gov and submit their application by January 10, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). Work samples must be uploaded by January 28, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

The NEA and Mint will present a webinar for prospective applicants on Wednesday, December 11, 2013, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET at www.arts.gov. The webinar will review program elements and how to apply to the program. Free registration will be available at arts.gov at the beginning of December.

About the United States Mint
The United States Mint was created by Congress in 1792 and became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873. It is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces numismatic products, including proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins. The United States Mint’s numismatic programs are self–sustaining and operate at no cost to the taxpayer.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
The NEA was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at http://www.arts.gov/.

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