Coast Guard Art Program announces 2022 best in show winner

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U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
Contact:  Mary Ann Bader
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Coast Guard Art Program announces 2022 best in show winner

Photo of art.       Group photo. 

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NEW YORK — The Coast Guard Art Program announced the 2022 “best in show” artwork winner at its annual reception and art acceptance ceremony in New York, New York, July 7, 2022.

Debra Keirce was presented the 2022 George Gray Award for Artistic Excellence for her painting, “Debris Cleanup in Hawaii”. The award is the Coast Guard Art Program’s highest honor.

“I was honored to be chosen because there are so many worthy pieces this year,” said Keirce. “My work really speaks to our concerns about the planet and environmental issues. The art depicts the dangerous and unsung work of the Coast Guard removing tons of debris from protecting the reefs around the Hawaiian Islands.”

Keirce was selected by a panel of judges comprised of Rear Adm. Mary Megan Dean, Coast Guard Director of Governmental and Public Affairs; Robert Pillsbury, a president emeritus of the Salmagundi Club; and Antonio Masi, president of the American Watercolor Society.

“This work tells the story of our efforts at conservation and helping mitigate climate change,” said Dean. “Once hauled to shore, these nets are recycled into electricity. Protecting our reefs and the ocean is a vital mission for the Coast Guard, but many people are unaware of this vital mission; and this art will help better tell our story to all those who see it.”

The exhibition is scheduled to run at the Salmagundi Club, located at 47 Fifth Avenue, until July 15, 2022. The event is free, open to the public, and can be seen Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Coast Guard Art Program uses fine art to educate diverse audiences about the Coast Guard. Art from the program is exhibited at museums around the country. It is also displayed in offices of members of Congress, Cabinet secretaries, senior government officials and other Coast Guard locations nationwide.

The art collection comprises more than 2,000 works illustrating the missions performed by the service’s force of nearly 41,000 active duty members.

To read more on the Coast Guard Art Program’s 2022 exhibit, click here Art Program (

To learn more about Coast Guard Art Program and the Salmagundi Club, visit and