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Jacks Valley artist wins coin commission

by Christina Harvey

Carol Foldvary-Anderson has been told all her life that art is no way to make money.

Does artwork etched onto a silver coin count?

Foldvary-Anderson’s artwork was chosen to grace the 1999-2000 Millenium coin for Carson City.

The coin will be minted at the 100-year-old original coin press #1 in the historical Carson City Mint. It will be released and available for sale on Nevada Day, Oct. 31, 1999, which is the official beginning of the Nevada Commission on Tourism’s milennium celebration.

Foldvary-Anderson said she felt fortunate to have been selected.

“I’m realizing my dreams,” she said. “When you’re an artist, people discourage you and tell you to study something else because art is no way to make a living. But once you get involved in what you love, things will come to you. If you try to control things, you just miss opportunities and the special little moments.”

Foldvary-Anderson tried to work in an office for awhile, but she said she always excelled in art.

“My mother always reminds me that my kindergarten teacher said I was especially good with art,” she laughed.

Foldvary-Anderson said she eventually chose to live by the affirmation “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” She learned to offer her art in different ways to make a living.

“A big part of being an artist is taking it seriously,” she said. “It’s as much a business as anything else. You have to buy supplies, keep your clients happy, advertise and market. But your talent becomes the product.”

Foldvary-Anderson, who moved to the Carson Valley in 1990 from Lake Tahoe, drew the coin design by hand. She said her first conception of the coin is very similar to the one that will be minted.

She said she had seen the new Delaware coin and decided she wanted a less simple design.

“I wanted a coin with a lot of things going on,” she said.

“I spent a lot of time thinking about it, letting it gel. Then I sketched it, and then I spent more and more time making it tighter and considering the perspective, the design. It’s an accumulation of lots of techniques and styles. I just kept adding more details.”

Foldvary-Anderson chose to depict the state capitol dome because it is a landmark in Carson City. Her drawing includes the mountains that surround the city as well as the pine trees to signify that the Sierra is nearby.

“The stars on the coin signify the beautiful sky above and a celebration of the new century,” she wrote on her entry.

“I’ve always loved the stars here,” she said. “You go outside at night and there’s a zillion of them.”

Each draft of the coin design included more stars.

The coin design was all part of a contest through the Nevada Appeal. Artists were asked to draw something that would represent Carson City for the millenium. Some of Foldvary-Anderson’s friends suggested she enter the contest.

The millenium committee selected Foldvary-Anderson’s coin design from a field of four adult entries, but they asked her to remove the words “Carson City” from the design.

The adult category was sponsored by the Nugget.

She received $200 and will be given the first minted coin.

“This coin will be a souvenir of the millenium,” said Candy Duncan, Chair of the Carson City milennium committee. “The coin press is an artifact, and it can’t produce a mass quantity of coins. A limited number is all it will be able to handle, but that will make the coin all the more collectible.”

Foldvary-Anderson’s design will be etched into a mold that will then be filled with molten silver. The other side of the coin will have a stamp of the mint building.

Duncan is still not sure how many coins will be produced.

Duncan said any profits from the sale of the $25 coin will be used for the millenium celebrations.

The committee is seeking approximately four sponsors for the minting of the coin.

Foldvary-Anderson, who has never designed a coin before, said the best part of being selected is being a part of history.

“Having a coin with my art on it is pretty neat,” she said.

For information about purchasing a coin call 687-7410.