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Quill to design commemorative coins

Joe Trombello | Friday, February 27, 2004

Senior marketing and art studio major Pat Quill picked the right day to read The Washington Post.

One day before the Jan. 9 deadline, Quill said he noticed an advertisement calling for student artists to apply for positions with the United States Mint to design some of the state quarters.

Quill joins five other student artists from around the nation as Associate Designers, who, along with 18 Master Designers – all professional – will develop future coin designs.

“I read the article, and it was emphasizing people who were focused on detailed work, and that’s what I love to do,” he said. “Drawing is my first love.”

Quill, who is pursuing a painting concentration, said he remembers drawing on the walls of his room when he was less than two years old. He said he has always been drawn to art.

“I’ve always loved [art],” he said.

Judges from the U.S. Mint, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts, selected the winners from 306 applications.

“I’m still pinching myself,” he said. “I was completely shocked.”

The new batch of designers, part of the U.S. Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program, replaced state artists responsible for designing their coins. The 24 artists will receive written background information about each state to give them ideas and inspiration for appropriate designs.

Quill, an Observer illustrator, said the job will be part-time, and he is uncertain how many coins he will submit designs for.

“At the least, six different coins; at the most, who knows,” he said.

Quill will receive $500 for each submission and an additional $500 for each design that is accepted. He said a submission for the new nickel will be due in early March.

Quill’s position will last for two years. In the interim, he said he plans on finding a business-related job and is applying at several advertising firms and marketing departments. Although he said he plans to pursue a full-time art career later, he wants to first work in the business world.

“I hope to find a business job and then turn to art as my main source of income,” he said. “This is a stepping stone to that.”

Quill said he considers the position to be a true honor and is excited about getting to be a part of history.

“I think it’s a great honor considering that the coins are going to be in circulation for over 30 years, and then they’ll be around for history,” he said. “It’s hard to believe that I’ll be looking at a coin and it could be my design.”