The Coast Guard on canvas: 2014 Art Program

In this work from the U.S. Coast Guard Art Program 2014 Collection, "Above the Seneca," Coast Guard Cutter Seneca patrols in the Straits of Florida. U.S. Coast Guard Art Program work by James Consor.

In this work from the U.S. Coast Guard Art Program 2014 Collection, “Above the Seneca,” Coast Guard Cutter Seneca patrols in the Straits of Florida. U.S. Coast Guard Art Program work by James Consor.

The dedication and character of the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard provide inspiration for many across the nation. Some of the most inspired are Coast Guard artists who belong to the Coast Guard Art Program. Whether sculptor or painter, these select artists create works of art that tell the story of the service’s missions, heroes and history.

This week, the Coast Guard Art Program will hold its inaugural exhibition of the 2014 collection at the Salmagundi Club in New York City. Today, we feature three members of the Coast Guard Art Program who have been inspired by the Coast Guard’s missions and people: James Consor, Tyson Snow and Karen Loew.

James Consor

While working in the advertising business, James Consor spent most of his spare time drawing and painting – with an emphasis on maritime subjects. Consor was involved in the Air Force Art Program at the Society of Illustrators when he learned of a similar program for the U.S. Coast Guard.

“About six or seven years ago, the Coast Guard was reaching out to the [Society of Illustrators] in hopes of broadening the scope of their own program,” said Consor.

By this point, Consor had become a signature member of the American Society of Marine Artists. “I was obviously a good fit,” he added.

He was soon contacted by the coordinator of the Coast Guard Art Program and before long was underway, experiencing Coast Guard operations firsthand.

In this work from the U.S. Coast Guard Art Program 2014 Collection, "Emergency Drill Aboard the Juniper," a crew member aboard the 225-foot Coast Guard Cutter Juniper, a buoy tender home-ported in Newport, R.I., speaks into a radio during an emergency drill aboard the ship while underway off the coast of Nova Scotia. U.S. Coast Guard Art Program 2014 Collection work by Tyson Snow.

In this work from the U.S. Coast Guard Art Program 2014 Collection, “Emergency Drill Aboard the Juniper,” a crew member aboard the 225-foot Coast Guard Cutter Juniper, a buoy tender home-ported in Newport, R.I., speaks into a radio during an emergency drill aboard the ship while underway off the coast of Nova Scotia. U.S. Coast Guard Art Program 2014 Collection work by Tyson Snow.

“The next thing I knew, I was on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Diligence doing migrant interdiction in the Straits of Florida,” said Consor.

Consor used his experiences aboard Diligence as inspiration for many paintings, ranging in theme from general watch standing to migrant operations. In 2011, Consor was again sent to Florida, this time to Jacksonville to observe Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron training exercises. Through his time with Coast Guard crews, ashore and in the air, Consor was able to see – and then paint – the maritime missions of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Consor’s painting, “Above the Seneca,” will be featured as part of the Coast Guard Art Collection 2014.

Tyson Snow

Tyson Snow’s introduction to the Coast Guard Art Program started with a Coast Guard hero – Douglas Munro. While working at a foundry in Arizona, Snow was approached by the foundry’s owner about creating a sculpture of Munro for the Coast Guard.

Snow created the life-size bust for U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro, and a few years later, he was creating another, only this time it was twice as big.

“They said they were opening a brand new headquarters,” said Snow. “They wanted that same bust, but enlarged two times. You really don’t know how big that was until you have it in front of you.”

It was while at Coast Guard Headquarters that he met Mary Ann Bader, the Coast Guard Art Program coordinator. Soon after, he became a member.

Snow’s inspiration for his artwork wasn’t a deployment like Consor. Instead it was a striking, real-life photograph of a Coast Guardsman hard at work on a buoy deck.

“I filtered through hundreds of photos, until I found something that grabbed me,” said Snow.

The photo was of a crewmember aboard U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Juniper. “In terms of choosing the image, I like to focus on the individual – as neat as the ships boats and helicopters are, I am more interested in the people that drive them.”

In this work from the U.S. Coast Guard Art Program 2014 Collection, "Search Light", an Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin flies low over a small boat station crew in turbulent waters of Biscayne Bay to conduct search and rescue training exercises. U.S. Coast Guard Art Program work by Karen Loew.

In this work from the U.S. Coast Guard Art Program 2014 Collection, “Search Light”, an Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin flies low over a small boat station crew in turbulent waters of Biscayne Bay to conduct search and rescue training exercises. U.S. Coast Guard Art Program work by Karen Loew.

Snow’s painting, “Emergency Drill Aboard the Juniper,” will be featured as part of the Coast Guard Art Collection 2014.

Karen Loew

Karen Loew first learned about the Coast Guard Art Program after becoming a member of the program’s sponsor, the Salmagundi Club.

After applying for membership, the first friend she made was Tom Picard, co-chair of the Coast Guard Art Program committee. Through their friendship, she learned about the program and eventually, applied for membership.

“I can still recall my surprise at the very first [Coast Guard Art Program] show I saw, how varied Coast Guard missions were – not just search and rescue, buoy tending and boat safety instruction,” said Loew.

Loew first became an artist for the Coast Guard Art Program while the Coast Guard was under the Department of Transportation and noted how much weight has been added to Coast Guard missions since transferring to the Department of Homeland Security.

In May of 2002, Loew was sent to Guantanamo Bay to observe a port security unit at work. “It was all business on this craft as the three-man crew, all individually armed, did harbor patrols,” said Loew. “The gravity of their mission was obvious.”

After her trip, she created one of her first Coast Guard Art Program paintings: GTMO Morning.

Loew’s painting, “Search Light,” will be featured as part of the Coast Guard Art Collection 2014.

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