Linda Fox, member of Chandler’s McQueen 2nd ward, is a realist artist who seeks opportunities via social media, artist guilds, art schools, galleries and competitions to showcase her work. In order to carve out a place for herself in the competitive world of art as a realist, Sister Fox, who received a degree in Studio Art from ASU, as well as additional training at Scottsdale Artist’s School, says, “I’ve had to narrow my focus to groups and venues that promote realism.”
In early 2014, Sister Fox heard about a call for art from the US Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP). “It seemed like a perfect opportunity,” she says. “I love the American ideals that are so beautifully expressed in public art commissioned by our government in buildings, parks and monuments. Coins are a form of that same art.” She applied and was encouraged by Justin Kunz, an illustrator, BYU art professor and AIP coin designer.
Soon, she received a phone call from the U.S. Mint with the news that they wanted her in the program pending a design test. After her design was submitted, Sister Fox attended a symposium at the Philadelphia Mint with 19 other artists as well as mint staff and sculptors/engravers. She feels honored to have participated with such a great, talented group.
From the history of coins and their design, imagery and symbolism, to the differences between circulated, uncirculated and proof coins, there was a lot for Sister Fox to learn: that eagles on a coin should only fly upward, for example, and right is east and left is west. Sister Fox says she enjoyed the research as much as the actual artwork. She read, practiced, took workshops and constantly thought about what it might take to make a design the mint would consider.
After a long selection process, Sister Fox’s obverse design for the Lady Bird Johnson First Spouse Gold Coin was selected. Sister Fox says that it was wonderful “learning about her life, work, interests and accomplishments.”
The coin was minted and made available for purchase in August 2015.
Among current projects, she is also participating in a unique international art exhibit in Mesa called Street Pianos. Every year, pianos are donated, painted and put in public places in major cities around the world. Each piano on display has the words on it, “Play Me, I’m Yours.”
From March 1 to April 9, the City of Mesa is participating to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Mesa Arts Center. 24 artists were selected to team up with community groups to design pianos. Sister Fox is paired with CARE partnership, an organization that works to offer a safe place for children to learn and play, family medical services and much more. Their piano’s theme focuses on hands serving others.
It’s clear that Sister Fox loves a challenge. She enjoys transforming a canvas and layers of paint into much more, something that she says “touches the mind and heart, and stirs the soul.” She loves to capture the world’s beauty in the images of people, places and things. Sister Fox enjoys expressing images that inspire and uplift, getting family members involved by modeling for her, sharing fun facts about whatever she’s researching, meeting and working with other artists and being to be an example of good works as well as constantly learning and trying to be led by the Spirit.