Coast Guard Art Program : inaugural exhibition


Jun 26 - Jul 28, 2023

The gallery will close early on July 13th at 4:30 PM.

skylight gallery
Exhibition Hours
Monday – Friday | 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday | 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Open to the public
Free to attend

This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the Coast Guard Art Program. Today, the collection holds over 2,000 works that capture the myriad missions the active-duty men and women of the Coast Guard perform daily, including homeland security, search and rescue, marine environmental protection, drug interdiction, national defense and natural resource management. Paintings and drawings bring to life the work performed by the Coast Guard and vividly demonstrate the Service’s contributions to the country.

The 2023 collection is comprised of 38 works of art created by 25 artists. All works are generously donated by COGAP members, most of whom are professional artists. Additional works from other collection years underscore the Service’s many contributions to the nation and display many works by New York metro area artists. Also on view are works by recently deceased COGAP artists Lewis Jackson and Dino Sistilli. These are in tribute to the lives and work of these esteemed Coast Guard Art Program artists.

Since its inception in 1981, the Club has been the sponsor of the Coast Guard Art Program. In recognition of its many contributions in this capacity it was awarded the Coast Guard’s Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest public award given.

The Coast Guard Art Program (COGAP) uses fine art as an outreach tool for educating diverse audiences about the Coast Guard. Today, more than ever, the Service addresses an abundance of challenges as it works to maintain the nation’s security at home and abroad and executes its statutory missions. COGAP art provides visual testimony to the unique contribution the Service makes to the nation in its multifaceted roles as a military, humanitarian and law enforcement organization. Art from the program is exhibited at museums around the country. It is displayed in the offices of members of Congress, cabinet secretaries, senior government officials and other military services and Coast Guard locations nationwide. It has also been displayed by the State Department overseas in its Art in Embassies program.

2022 George Gray award recipient for artistic excellence:

A man in blue with a hard hat holding on to a grappling hook, which is attached to a pile of rope. Behind him is a murky-orange haze.

Debra Keirce
Debris cleanup in Hawaii
20 x 16 inches
Broadlands, VA

About the Image

Currents in the Pacific Ocean bring derelict fishing nets and gear to Hawaiian waters. These pose safety hazards to ships and cause extensive damage to the ecosystem by snagging on coral reefs and entangling wild life. Here a crew member from Coast Guard Cutter Walnut recovers fishnet from Lisianski Island and the Pearl and Hermes reefs. The Walnut was joined by personnel from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to remove more than 57,500 pounds of marine debris.

About the Artist

Debra Keirce has been a COGAP member since 2021. During that brief period, eight works of her art have been accepted into the permanent collection.  She plans to continue using her talent to depict many other vital missions of the Service and some that may also be little known. “Through my work,” she says, “I hope to aid in enlightening the public on the many contributions of this great Service.”