2013 Coast Guard Art Program collection unveiled

You would be hard pressed to find a better snapshot of the service’s myriad missions than the one provided by the 2013 Coast Guard Art Program collection now on display at Federal Hall National Memorial in New York City. This year’s collection, comprised of 29 works by 23 artists, includes works showing the service’s response to news-making events such as the Healy’s escort of the Russian oil tanker Renda in the Arctic and Super Storm Sandy. Others depict boardings and inspections of recreational and commercial vessels, search and rescue cases, training exercises, patrols and aids to navigation. Some works even capture subjects never before recorded such a helicopter hot refuel evolution and a helicopter ice landing.

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"Keeping our ports safe" - The Coast Guard Cutter Dorado, an HC-130 Hercules aircraft and a Dolphin helicopter escort a Navy aircraft carrier and supply ship. Throughout its history, the Coast Guard has enjoyed a unique relationship with the Navy, serving under it in time of war or when directed by the President, and as a partner in joint operations. U.S. Coast Guard painting by Peter DeWeerdt.
“Keeping our ports safe” – The Coast Guard Cutter Dorado, an HC-130 Hercules aircraft and a Dolphin helicopter escort a Navy aircraft carrier and supply ship. Throughout its history, the Coast Guard has enjoyed a unique relationship with the Navy, serving under it in time of war or when directed by the President, and as a partner in joint operations. U.S. Coast Guard painting by Peter DeWeerdt.

Written by MaryAnn Bader, manager, Coast Guard Art Program.

You would be hard pressed to find a better snapshot of the service’s myriad missions than the one provided by the 2013 Coast Guard Art Program collection now on display at Federal Hall National Memorial in New York City.

This year’s collection, comprised of 29 works by 23 artists, includes works showing the service’s response to news-making events such as the Healy’s escort of the Russian oil tanker Renda in the Arctic and the response to Superstorm Sandy. Others depict boardings and inspections of recreational and commercial vessels, search and rescue cases, training exercises, patrols and aids to navigation. Some works even capture subjects never before recorded such as a helicopter hot refuel evolution and a helicopter ice landing.

"Steady as she goes" - A Coast Guard service member aboard the Cutter Hollyhock steadies the hoist hook used to deploy oil skimming equipment during a multi-agency and international contingency exercise on the Detroit River. The exercise aims to enhance cooperation and coordinate response to possible oil spills and other environmental mishaps among different agencies. The cutter is a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender. U.S. Coast Guard painting by Ken Smith.
“Steady as she goes” – A Coast Guard service member aboard the Cutter Hollyhock steadies the hoist hook used to deploy oil skimming equipment during a multi-agency and international contingency exercise on the Detroit River. The exercise aims to enhance cooperation and coordinate response to possible oil spills and other environmental mishaps among different agencies. The cutter is a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender. U.S. Coast Guard painting by Ken Smith.

Six of the works are the results of artists being sent on deployment to capture underrepresented assets and missions. One of these, “Steady as she goes,” by Ken Smith of Pulaski, Va., won the George Gray Award for artistic excellence, marking the third time Smith has won this prestigious award. In fact, all of Smith’s award-winning works are based on artist deployments. His 2013 painting shows a female servicemember steadying a hoist hook used in oil skimming operations during a contingency exercise on the Detroit River.

“I was really grateful for the opportunity to see firsthand how the Coast Guard crews easily and efficiently handled what seemed to me a very complex and difficult operation,” Smith noted in speaking about his deployment to Sector Detroit where he viewed the exercise. “I was impressed with the teamwork and the super positive attitude of all the Coasties and the very competent and decisive leadership of the servicemember depicted in my painting.”

The art program has been in existence since 1981. Today there are more than 1,800 works in the collection, which is testimony to the rich traditions, history and people of the Coast Guard.

We are tremendously grateful to our artists who volunteer their time and talent to make these striking contributions. Not only do these works immortalize our service as it meets dramatic challenges, they show what our servicemembers do every day as subjects befitting works of art.

The exhibit at Federal Hall will run through Sept. 9, 2013. The memorial is an apt venue as it shares history with the Coast Guard in the person of Alexander Hamilton. When Hamilton was secretary of the Treasury, he had offices at 26 Wall Street – site of the memorial – in what was the first building to serve as Capitol of the United States. As secretary, Hamilton established the Revenue Cutter Service.

If you find yourself in New York City this summer, Federal Hall is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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