For us, they are always ready, here in Newburyport and around the country. 

Our new exhibit, Semper Paratus — the Coast Guard’s motto meaning “always ready” — captures a glimpse into the routine yet extraordinary and heroic responsibilities of the United States Coast Guard.

This spirited and dimensional selection of artwork is part of a diverse collection of over 2,000 pieces curated by the Coast Guard Art Program (COGAP). The program, celebrating its 35th anniversary, uses art as a medium for educational outreach. It oversees a talented volunteer group of professional and amateur artists that brings to life the missions performed by over 43,000 active-duty men and women, reservists, and auxiliary members. We extend our appreciation to Mary Ann Bader, Coordinator of the Coast Guard Art Program, for facilitating the acquisition of this loaned art for the enjoyment of the CHMM’s visitors.

Not only will we enjoy the dramatic images and the stories they portray, but we are also regaled with a variety of techniques, coffee painting, for example, that the artists use to showcase their creative verve. Coffee-painting is a watercolor technique that creates delightfully organic, monochromatic images.

The museum’s executive director, Joan Whitlow, remarks about the exhibit, “I love the fact that a branch of the armed forces uses fine art for its educational outreach. A picture is worth a thousand words, and each image demystifies the daily roles of our service members. And the artwork is exceptional.”

We will observe and sense within these paintings the core values and responsibilities of the Coast Guard, along with the variety of specialized skills necessary to protect and preserve the coastal waters of the United States. Missions like Search and Rescue owe their success to regimented training and daily maintenance on naval and airborne vessels. Simulating “real-life” crises, from fighting fires on aircraft vessels to protecting marine life and patrolling coastal waters, are critical for the safety of maritime communities. Amid natural disasters and treacherous weather challenges, our distinguished service members’ courage inherently shines in who they are and their passion and dedication for our waters.

The exhibit is open now and running through December 31, 2021.