Medallic art was always meant to be held in your hand.
Or, in the case of the medal designed for the 30th Congress of the International Federation of Medallic Art (FIDEM), it was meant to be held in many hands.
The conference medal, designed by Sarah Peters, was comprised of four pieces that formed a circle when held together. Proper exhibition called for a group effort.
Held Sept. 19-22 at the Antlers Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo, the congress featured four days of illustrated talks and hands-on demonstrations.
Edmund C. Moy, director of the U.S. Mint, gave a passionate talk to open the congress. It was centered on the steps the Mint has been considering in regard to stepping up the art on both circulating and commemorative U.S. coinage and the congressional medal series. He pointed to the artistic infusion process, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and an increase in creative design options.
The FIDEM exhibit was comprised of three sections. The main exhibition consists of over 1,400 works from more than 500 artists representing 35 countries.
Susan Peter?s design of the congress medal was easily formed into a circle when four were gathered together. Here Amanullah Haiderzaid, Patricia Verani, Del Newbigging and Douglas White demonstrate.
The FIDEM Grand Prix award was presented to Helder Batista of Portugal. The Cuhaj prize for an artist under the age of 30 was awarded to Jakob Wesolowski of Poland.
The second part of the exhibition was in honor of 14 artists over the age of 70, as this was FIDEM?s 70th anniversary.
Thirdly, the Stack Family collection of about 35 Renaissance medals was on display. The exhibition is documented in a profusely illustrated 374-page, 7-1/2- by 9-1/4-inch catalog which includes a listing and description of all items in the first two exhibits, contact information for the artist and one illustration of each artist?s work.
Two exhibitions are continuing until May 2008 at the ANA Money Museum.
An additional opening reception was held in conjunction with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, which hosted a reception and lecture by Otakar Dusek of the Czech Republic. He spoke about what have been his influences in the creation of his recent medal projects.
The Thursday and Friday of the congress held the opportunity to hear an additional 25 lectures or attend any of four workshops. In addition a dinner-time tour was arranged to the Garden of the Gods. Nearly full-day workshops were held on paper making and enameling. The final day of the congress saw a bourse comprised of artists showing and selling works, and a general assembly meeting of the FIDEM, where Ilkka Voionmaa was elected president and Cory Gillilland was elected vice president.
At the closing banquet, which was held at the Broadmoor?s Cheyenne Mountain venue, the attendees enjoyed a wonderful view of the city lights at dusk, and awards were presented to past officers of FIDEM. In addition the announcement of the Cuhaj Award of distinction was presented to Philip Atwood, editor of the British Art Medal Society?s publication, The Medal, and curator of medals at the British Museum, London, England, and Del Newbigging past Canada delegate currently residing in Toronto.
The American Numismatic Association, congress host, has additional copies of the exhibition catalog. It is available for $39.95 and the bronze congress medal at $75, or four medals (to form a circle) for $220. They can be ordered on-line at www.money.org, or by writing to the ANA at 818 N. Cascade Ave. Colorado Springs, CO, 80903.