NEA Arts Magazine

A New Bison Nickel Heads into Circulation

At a ceremony on Capitol Hill, NEA Chairman Gioia joined Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY) and U.S. Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore, who officially placed a new coin into circulation. "The 2005 American Bison nickel will look significantly different from any nickels you've seen," Director Fore announced. Meanwhile, a 2,000-pound bison stood by regally while Native Americans sang in celebration in Upper Senate Park. The National Endowment for the Arts worked as a partner with the United States Mint to assist in the evaluation of artists' applications. The NEA convened a panel to choose the designers of the new nickel.

Nickel headsNickel tails

Senator Enzi said, "The bison is an enduring symbol of America and especially the West. I'm pleased to help celebrate this new coin which depicts a part of our past that with the continuing efforts of the present will be with us long into the future."

Dana Gioia at the outdoor podium

NEA Chairman Dana Gioia notes that currency is our most predominant form of public art, at the debut of the Bison nickel. Photo: Joyce Harris