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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Oct. 25, 2022

Coast Guard Art Program (COGAP) celebrates International Artist Day 

By Zach Shapiro, MyCG Writer 

Oct. 25 marks International Artist Day, a holiday celebrating and recognizing the power of art. This occasion should have special meaning to members of the Coast Guard given the service’s rich artistic tradition. The Coast Guard Art Program (COGAP) continues to honor that tradition by educating the public about the Coast Guard through outreach to museums nationwide. 
Founded 41 years ago, COGAP boasts a 2022 collection of 38 works of art created by 27 talented artists, with thousands more works in its archive.  

“We want the workforce to know that what they do every day is memorialized in art through our program,” said COGAP coordinator Mary Ann Bader. “We appreciate the contributions of our Coast Guard artists, all of whom volunteer their time and artwork to the service. It is an honor to us and it’s something that we deeply appreciate.” 
Just as art has changed, so too has COGAP’s curation goals. “One of the most important ways in which COGAP has evolved is that we are concerned with showing what the workforce does every day,” Bader said. “In the past, our collections solely highlighted assets and lighthouses. Today, we focus on highlighting the service members who propel it forward every day.”  
For decades, COGAP has helped place artists in the field to help spur the creative process. COGAP will continue to inspire artists by providing opportunities to deploy across the country.   
Given the complications created by the pandemic, this year’s batch of deployments is particularly exciting, Bader noted. “We’re looking forward to reinstituting some of these deployments. They give Coast Guard artists the opportunity to witness firsthand what the service does and why it’s so important.”  
Famed artist Paul Cézanne once remarked that “one does not put oneself in place of the past, one only adds a new link.” COGAP will continue to link the Coast Guard’s history to its present and future. The service’s Core Values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty will be preserved and depicted on canvases for years to come.  

High-resolution images of all pieces of the Coast Guard art collection from 2016 to 2022 are now available on DVIDS, and you may view them here.  

For more information about the program, click here. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Ann Bader

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