International Artists Meet in Colorado Springs for Major Exhibition 
Medallic sculptures from 32 nations to exhibit at Money Museum

Artists from four continents will converge upon Colorado Springs Sept. 19-22 to celebrate the opening of “The Medal is the Message: Global Ideas in Handheld Sculpture,” an innovative exhibition of more than 1,400 handheld sculptures and art medals from 32 countries at the American Numismatic Association’s Edward C. Rochette Money Museum. The exhibit replaces “The Die Is Cast: Money of the Ancient World,” which closed Aug. 20. 

For the first time in 20 years, the International Medal Federation (FIDEM) will hold its Art Medal World Congress and exhibition in the United States. Since its last U.S. visit, also held at the Money Museum, FIDEM has presented this biennial event at prestigious international venues such as the British Museum and The Hague. 

Contemporary handheld sculptures are monuments to a changing world – marking major historical events, making bold political and personal statements in a broad spectrum of themes and perspectives. This year’s FIDEM theme, Passages to Reconstruction, conveys a message of hope following Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 tsunami that devastated South and Southeast Asia. Many artists incorporated themes of tragedy and renewal in their work. 

After innovative artists made their mark in the 1970s, handheld sculptures and art medals moved far beyond commemorative pieces struck in gold, silver and bronze. Pieces in “The Medal is the Message” are made of materials as far ranging as bread, computer chips, cloth and former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel’s fingerprint. 

This year marks FIDEM’s 70th anniversary, and the organization will celebrate by presenting an additional parallel exhibition featuring accomplished artists over age 70 from around the world at the Money Museum. 

The public can meet FIDEM’s artists during “An International Celebration of Art,” Sept. 21 from 4-9 p.m. at the Money Museum and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. The evening starts with the public opening of “The Medal is the Message” from 4-5:30 p.m. The event then moves to the Fine Arts Center, where Czech artist Otakar Dušek will present the talk, “Reflections: Artistic Freedom in the Czech Republic.” Following the talk, a catered reception will be held. 

The event is free with a suggested donation of $25. To request tickets, e-mail meetings@money.org or call 719-482-9857. 

Established in 1937, FIDEM aims to promote the art of medals at an international level and to guarantee recognition of its place among other arts, mainly through publications and the organization of international events. For more information, visit www.fidem-medals.org. 

The Money Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free and group tours are available by calling 719-482-9834. “The Medal is the Message: Global Ideas in Handheld Sculpture” will run through May 2008. 

Originally Release Date: August 22, 2007
ANA Contacts: Phone: 719-482-9821
                            Email: pr@money.org