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CCAC sees improved art

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The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committtee saw more coin and medal designs that it liked this time around.

“I think it’s defintely an improvement over the Presidential and First Spouse images of this past summer,” said CCAC Chairman Gary Marks.

At that time, the CCAC only endorsed designs for two of seven coins presented for consideration. At its Oct. 26 meeting it recommended designs for six of seven proposals.

“I think there is clearly some room for improvement, but I think we saw some prgress with these images,” Marks said.

The CCAC reviewed designs for five  America the Beautiful quarters to be released in 2012 and for two medals, one honoring golfer Arnold Palmer and one honoring four astronauts. Gold medals will be presented to the honorees with bronze medals sold to the public.

The preferred designs were:

Puerto Rico – Design No. 4. The image honoring El Yunque National Forest features a parrot and frog. It is the same one selected by the Commission of Fine Arts. It garnered 12 of 21 possible votes, Marks said. Design No. 1, which features a waterfall, received 11 votes.

Maine – Design No. 4. The CCAC cast 14 votes for the design showing a larger image of a lighthouse at Acadia National Park. Design No. 3, which the CFA endorsed, received 11 votes. It also features a lighthouse, but in smaller scale to the rocky cliff. “On a 1 inch pallete you want details discernable to the naked eye,” Marks said. “Some of the images presented would be difficult to interpret with the naked eye.”

Alaska – Design No. 2.  A design featuring a strong imge of a Dall sheep that inhabits the Denali National Park received 16 of 21 points. It is the same image chosen by the CFA. Marks said the CCAC did ask the Mint to consider enlarging the sheep to make it the focal point of the design. “If the view of the sheep is closer up with the mountain in the background it could be an absolutley spectacular coin,” Marks said.

Hawaii – Design No. 4. “The committee is taking a chance on this one,” Marks said.  Fifteen votes were cast for an image of an erupting volcano at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. “We have been at the forefront of urging the Mint to push the boundaries adn try to get into more modern designs,” Marks said. “We want to take a chance with the possibility that this is going to be a very spectacular coin or an image that fails.” The artists at the Mint felt this was an image worth taking a chance on, Marks said, “so we’re going with it.”

New Mexico – No design selected. Design No. 4 received the most votes, but not a majority. It depicted the vastness of chaco Culture National Historical Park and its Native American construction. Marks said a number of committee members acknowledged that this was a tough assignment. It may have been a situation where a visit to the park by the artist was warranted to experience a sense of the place, Marks said.

Arnold Palmer – The CCAC preferred design No. 1 for the obverse because it actually showed Palmer in the action of his sport, Marks said. “There is no doubt he is a golfer in this image.” It is the same design endorsed by CFA. For the reverse, the CCAC preferred design No. 2, which shows the head of a club and a large golf ball. The CFA preferred design No. 4, which featured crossed clubs and text.

New Frontier – “The challenge of this medal is that we are honoring two historic space voyages on one medal,” Marks said. But the committee felt the combination of obverse design No. 1 and reverse design No. 2, the same designs selected by the CFA, accomplished that goal. The medal honors John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, and Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins. The CCAC did suggest that the full quote from the landing, “We come in peace for all mankind” be placed on the reverse instead of the proposed “We come in peace,” and that the words “Act of Congress be removed. It also wanted a reference to the Apollo 11 and Mercury missions.

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