Each year a panel of judges selects a recipient for the George Gray Award for Artistic Excellence from a collection of artwork submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard Art Program. No stranger to the program or this award, Robert Selby won the award for his artwork depicting a deployment aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Tezanos in the Caribbean last year.
Coast Guard Art Program artist Robert Selby deployed with Coast Guard Cutter Joseph for two weeks in May 2018. While aboard, Selby executed an artist’s sketchbook in preparation for a painting that will take the work of the Coast Guard at Sector San Juan as its theme.
Each year a collection of artwork is submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard Art Program where a panel of judges selects a recipient for the George Gray Award for Artistic Excellence – in other words, they choose a “best in show.” This year’s award goes to Leendert van der Pool for his oil painting titled “Partnership.”
It’s not often a Coast Guard service member is also a member of the Coast Guard Art Program (COGAP). In fact, this is very rare, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jasen Newman, a machinery technician, is among a select few who can lay claim to this twin appellation.
Two women in operational dress uniforms and life vests stand on the bow of a Coast Guard response vessel, holding lengths of yellow rope attached to a bright orange ball. Their faces are steely-eyed in determination – they know the line they handle is a lifeline for someone in distress; a connection, a hope for survival.
It is this image Coast Guard painter Ken Smith captured that earned him the 2017 George Gray Award for Artistic Excellence. His “Lifeline” painting was inspired by his time spent with crew members from Coast Guard Station Emerald Isle in Beaufort, North Carolina, last summer.
Karen Loew’s “Migrants at Sea” was one of 33 artworks accepted into the 2017 Coast Guard Art Program (COGAP) collection. The collection went on display July 16 at New York’s Salmagundi Club and will remain on display through July 28. COGAP uses fine art to showcase the Coast Guard’s missions to a vast audience.
George Gray Award for Artistic Excellence recipient, Robert Semler’s 50-some-odd years of artistry certainly speaks for itself. He received his fourth George Gray Award for his Coast Guard-inspired painting titled “Guardians of the Sea.”
“Inspiration for me as an artist comes from focusing on the individual, especially when dealing with Coast Guard members,” said Snow. “The ships and the machinery are all very interesting in their own ways but I’m always more interested in the person who operates them. It’s that intimate experience of the individual driving a vessel or operating a piece of machinery that interests me most.”
Coast Guard artist Robert C. Semler's painting "Law enforcement training at Station Cortez" was awarded the 2011 George Gray Award for artistic excellence. U.S. Coast Guard painting. Throughout history, art – in its many forms – has been a common element in communicating military history. From cave paintings of organized hunts to John Ford filming
30 miles from Punta Gorda, Cuba: While on patrol, crewmen aboard a small boat from the Coast Guard Cutter Seneca intercept a dangerously overloaded sail freighter carrying Haitians 30 miles north of Punta Gorda, Cuba. Crew members distributed life jackets and then safely transferred the 125 migrants to the Seneca where they were given food,