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United States Mint Names 7 New Associate Designers From Artistic Infusion Program

The United States Mint today announced that seven new artists have been selected to participate in the Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) as Associate Designers. The AIP began in 2003 to help enrich and invigorate the design of U.S. coins and medals.

A call for artists was issued August 28, 2009, seeking up to 10 associate designers to supplement the current pool of artists under contract in the AIP. Applications were accepted on a rolling basis with three deadlines. The United States Mint received more than 150 applications from professional visual artists nationwide.

After the first two deadlines of November 9, 2009, and March 8, 2010, an official panel convened at United States Mint headquarters to review the qualifying applications. The panel was composed of representatives from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and National Gallery of Art, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

After its review and evaluation, the panel recommended four artists after the November 9 deadline and three after the March 8 deadline. The new associate designers are:

* Paul Cainto Balan of Round Lake Heights, Illinois
* Chris Costello of Arlington, Massachusetts
* Barbara Fox of Little Valley, New York
* Thomas Hipschen of Arlington, Virginia
* Frank Morris of Memphis, Tennessee
* David Westwood of Lakewood, California
* Gary Whitley of Kelso, Washington

The final deadline for the 2009-2010 call for artists was July 6. There are three remaining AIP associate designer positions to be filled by the panel.

In the past, AIP artists have submitted successful designs for the 50 State Quarters® Program, American Eagle Platinum Coin Program, Presidential $1 Coin Program, First Spouse Gold Coin and Medal Program, America the Beautiful QuartersTM Program and others.

The AIP was specifically designed to develop and train a pool of talented external artists ready to work with the United States Mint’s in-house staff of sculptor-engravers to create new coin and medal designs. United States Mint Sculptor-Engravers model the designs submitted by the AIP artists.

There are two levels of artists who may participate in the AIP – Master Designers and Associate Designers. Associate Designers are eligible for direct promotion to the Master Designer level after two years in the program. Under AIP provisions, Master Designers receive $2,500 for each design submitted for consideration, and associate designers receive $2,000. Each artist receives an additional $5,000 per design selected for a coin or medal. All AIP artists are invited to create and submit at least one design candidate annually for a coin or medal program.

The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage. Its primary mission is to produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.

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