Westminster Mint Launches Inaugural International “Green Coin” Design Contest
Eau Claire, Wis. Resident Earns Grand Prize in Westminster Mint’s Inaugural International “Green Coin” Design Contest
MINNEAPOLIS, September 18, 2009 – Mallory Prucha Rishoi’s parents were ahead of their time. Today, no one bats an eye when people use phrases such as “greening the Earth” and “leaving a carbon footprint.” But in the 1970s, a much smaller percentage of Americans were talking about subjects such as renewable resources. Robert and Linda Prucha were among them.
“In the 1970s, my mom read books such as Diet for a Small Planet and both she and my dad were very interested in taking care of the Earth and society,” said Rishoi, 28, an Eau Claire, Wisconsin resident who attended the University of Nebraska on an art scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Arts and a Master of Arts in Theatre Arts. “My mom, who was a silversmith/goldsmith, and my dad, the former Director of Campus Horticulture at Father Flanagan’s Boys Town, both had a broad world view. They both integrated principles of Earth-conscious living throughout my life.”
With that kind of background in ecology and art, it’s no wonder Rishoi became interested in entering an international contest for the design of a .999 pure silver “Green Coin” from the Westminster Mint of Minneapolis. The company announced today that Rishoi’s design earned the grand prize of $2,009. She will also receive the first coin off the press, as well as the hand sculpts created by world renowned sculptor Caesar Ruffo.
One side of Rishoi’s coin features the Sun with rays transitioning into the wind and an electric plug, an ear of corn extending into a gasoline nozzle, wind turbines, and a hydro-electric dam. It also includes the wording “Renewable Resources,” “Solar-Wind-Bio-Fuel,” and “Hydro-Electric.” The coin’s obverse features a pair of hands holding a globe with arrows. An outline of the atmosphere bounces several arrows back to the Earth’s surface, representing global warming and human impact, as the Sun highlights the edge of space. This design is encircled by the words “Green Coin,” “The Future Is in Our Hands,” and “2009.”
“Both sides of the coin feature a circular design that serves as a reminder that living consciously and preserving natural resources is a theme that infiltrates all levels of society,” said Rishoi, currently an instructor and Costume Shop Supervisor in the Music and Theatre Arts department at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. “The entirety of mankind is encompassed and connected by the precious circle of Earth and must unite in the mission to preserve, protect and renew it for future generations.
“Furthermore, the hands that I drew are actually those of my mother, as I could think of no better hands than hers to represent the gentle, loving and strong grasp that all of us have on the planet. It is inevitably this grasp that will shape and mold the future. I tried to balance the message that the current state of the environment is precarious with that of a hopeful bright future without being too didactic or esoteric.”
Rishoi has lived in Eau Claire with her husband, Greg, for the past three years. She frequently returns to Omaha to visit her parents and grandmother, Phyllis Mallory.
She was interested in art at an early age, opting to pursue the subject despite receiving scholarships to other institutions that would have afforded her study in the fields of astrophysics and meteorology. While at the University of Nebraska, she focused on Drawing, Painting, Costume Design and Politics, serving as the Student Body President/Student Member of the NU Board of Regents. Currently, Rishoi teaches courses in Theatre Appreciation, Stage Make-Up and Stage Costuming. In her spare time, she works as a freelance costume designer and artist.
“This Green Coin contest seemed like an appropriate chance to promote a vital cause that is emerging in the mainstream, while honoring my upbringing,” Rishoi said. “I’m extremely grateful to the organizers of this event at the Westminster Mint for choosing my design.”