Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not the only member of the 11-person Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee to depart this year.
His sports star power helped draw attention to the advisory body.
Heidi Wastweet will soon leave at the expiration of her four-year term.
She has star power of another kind, which she has put to good use in her time at CCAC.
She is the CCAC member who is specially qualified in sculpture or medallic arts.
Naturally, the U.S. Mint is looking for a replacement.
Applications are being taken through June 8.
According to the government notice, anyone wishing to be considered should submit a resume, along with a cover letter, detailing specific educational credentials, skills, talents and experience.
Applications can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, by fax to 202–756–6525, or by mail to: United States Mint, 801 9th Street NW, Washington, DC 20220, Attn: Greg Weinman.
Wastweet will be difficult to replace.
Her official biography on the CCAC website says she is a leading American medalist and sculptor who specializes in bas-relief bronzes.
In her career, she has produced over 1,000 coins, medals, tokens and rare coin replicas.
She was chief sculptor of the Sunshine Mint for 11 years and lead designer/sculptor for Global Mint for five years.
Since 2002, she has had a studio of her own in Seattle, Wash.
Now that’s some resume.
Though it will be difficult to fill this artist’s shoes, I am sure the U.S. Mint will find someone.
However, before that time comes, I would like to simply say thank you to Wastweet for her years of service to CCAC.
We are fortunate in numismatics to have people of such talent who are willing to step forward.
Being on a public body trying to improve U.S. coinage and medals is not an easy task, but it is a necessary one.
We live in a time where people and institutions would rather keep their heads down and not take risks.
That is why the Mint reaches back so often to old designs.
Pulling numismatic art into the 21st century is still a work in progress.
Can anyone show us anything yet that is an exemplar of a 21st century style?
In the year 2100, what will they point to as the iconic coin design of the early 21st century?
Whatever it might be, it will have been reviewed and recommended by the CCAC, Wastweet and/or her successor.
Who wants to be that successor?
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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