Royal Canadian Mint Coins: Gary Taxali

Curator: Darren Booth
date: April 16, 2012
Categories: Illustration, Typography
Tags: Canadian, coins, Darren Booth, Gary Taxali, illustration

Many moons ago while I was in art school I  apprenticed with illustrator Gary Taxali, and I’ve always been grateful to him for taking me under his very experienced wing. Even for someone like myself who’s familiar with Gary and his work, I never expected to see his work appear on coins, but at the same time, I’m not overly surprised. Gary collaborated with The Royal Canadian Mint, and although these are a smallest canvases he's ever worked on, they are by far the most important of his career so far. 

There’s an example of conceptual illustration at its finest in this set of coins, as well as with the marriage-themed coin. When talking about marriage, Canada is a country where gender is irrelevant, and it’s great to see that the wedding-themed coin perfectly addresses this issue, simply by representing a union of two people as opposed to specific genders. For more information, feel free to check out Gary’s blog post.

Illustration for the “Marriage” coin

On a special note, “Taxali” is not actually Gary’s original last name. Three hundred years ago one of Gary’s ancestors invented a coin that was difficult to counterfeit and was subsequently knighted “Taxali” by the Maharaja. It means “Maker or Steward of The Mint.”
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