by Deb Shaw
Wild Rose Coin by Margaret Best, in packaging, courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint. (click image to enlarge)
BAGSC member, Margaret Best, was given a rare honor last year; she was commissioned by the Royal Canadian Mint to paint an Alberta wild rose, Rosa acicularis, to be reproduced on a new Canadian 20 dollar coin. The collectible coin is being released May 2, and can be purchased online from the Royal Canadian Mint.
The silver coin is unusual, in that it is reproduced in full color, and contains three genuine Swarovski crystals. A limited run of 10,000 coins will be produced.
Margaret was one of three artists selected to submit designs. She submitted two designs, and her Alberta Wild Rose was chosen for the coin.
Once the design was chosen, it was vetted by a botanist, and Margaret had one month to complete the painting. Unfortunately, the flower was not in bloom at the time, but luckily Margaret had painted the flower before, and was quite familiar with it.
Front of the Alberta Wild Rose Coin by Margaret Best, courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint. (click image to enlarge)
Her contract with the Royal Canadian Mint meant that she had to keep the coin and the painting a secret, but, now that it has been announced there has been a flurry of publicity surrounding the coin’s release. An interview with Margaret on the CBC radio show “Alberta@Noon” was aired on Wednesday, 27 April. (Click the link to hear the podcast. Margaret’s interview is at the end of the program. Once you click the link, start the podcast and then move the slider to right above the sound symbol to skip to Margaret’s interview.) The radio interview was followed by a story in the Calgary Herald, and many phone calls. Tania Marien also covered the story on her blog, ArtPlantae Today.
Back side of Wild Rose coin, courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint. (click image to enlarge)
Margaret’s next venture is a one-person show in Bermuda, Bermuda Botanica. For more details on her Bermuda show and classes, see the prior article in the blog.